A BETTER WAY
TO LEARN BIOLOGY

Forget everything you know about online learning. BioBeyond is better than anything you've seen before.

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EXPLORE

A LEARNING JOURNEY
INSPIRED BY A BIG QUESTION


BioBeyond is the first online course of its kind. It's more than a syllabus and list of lessons. It motivates students with an awe-inspiring "Big Question" narrative, and uses projects to meet foundational learning objectives and teach all the biology needed to seek answers.

Students move away from pure fact memorization and get excited to form a deeper understanding of scientific reasoning and modern science. BioBeyond takes students to the edge of today's knowledge, voyaging with them into the unknown.

It's education through exploration.

Earth
Mars

BioBeyond is an introductory biology course centered on the authentic, compelling question of how to find life in the universe. As they investigate the possibilities, students learn everything included in a standard first year biology curricula.


BIOBEYOND TAKES YOU PLACES

As students seek answers throughout the different units, they'll go on global expeditions via virtual field trips to places like the Galapagos Islands, travel down into a cell, voyage outward to Mars, and more. GO ON A VIRTUAL FIELD TRIP

A PERSONAL
LEARNING JOURNEY

ADAPTIVE PATHWAYS

UNIQUE FOR EVERY LEARNER

BioBeyond is built on an adaptive learning platform. Lesson pathways cater to each individual's knowledge and skills, motivating and supporting both struggling and advanced learners.

A personal Learning Journey A personal Learning Journey
A personal Learning Journey
A personal Learning Journey
ADAPTIVE FEEDBACK

WITH ADVICE A TUTOR WOULD GIVE

As they work, students receive adaptive feedback they need right when they need it to guide them through challenging material.

LEARNING COMPANION

SAY HELLO TO BEAGLE

Beagle is a personal learning companion that guides students through their exploration and learning experiences. Beagle offers advice and remediation as well as a variety of learning tools that students carry throughout their learning journeys.

PROMOTING ACTIVE LEARNING

Learning by doing with real-time guidance is the best way to learn. How do you effectively scale your effort to every student? BioBeyond engages students with beautifully-designed, scientifically-accurate simulations and real-world problem solving activities where students analyze, evaluate, and synthesize content in a whole new way, all while getting tailored feedback and advice. Now, take a journey into a living human cell to experience next-generation learning by doing.

JOURNEY INTO THE CELL
56

active & adaptive lessons

13

immersive virtual field trips

70

hours of learner engagement

4

integrative projects

A personal Learning Journey

POWERED BY
SMART SPARROW

BioBeyond is a paradigm shift in learning design it focuses on the whole learning experience rather than just relaying content. It was designed from the ground up to meet instructors' teaching needs and help students learn using cutting-edge adaptive technology.

TURNKEY SOLUTION

A complete online course that maps to standard introductory biology curricula

LMS INTEGRATION

Integrate it with your learning management system to enable gradebook sync and single-sign on

CLOUD BASED TECHNOLOGY

Tablet-ready and nothing to download for you or your students

SCALABLE AND COST EFFECTIVE

Supports classes of any size, anywhere, for far less than the cost of a textbook

FLEXIBLE AND MODULAR

Easy for instructors to adopt in both fully-online and blended classrooms

SUPPORT AND TRAINING

The Inspark Network provides full-time student support and instructor training

RESEARCH AND EVALUATION

Ongoing evaluations of learner experience to improve the course every semester

STUDENT ARTIFACTS

Even after courses end, students will still have access to their projects

EXPERIENCE THE FUTURE OF LEARNING.

Bio Beyond
01

Biology Bootcamp

How do we study biology?

Unit Goal

Students use real-world examples, experiments and simulations to define common scientific terms and practices that will guide them on their journey through BioBeyond.

Topics Covered

Nature of Science, Hypotheses, Theories, Laws, Graphing, Correlation, Uncertainty, SI Units, Critical Thinking, Experimental Design, Error, Bias

Unit Standards

  • Identify and describe the philosophical assumptions and limitations of scientific reasoning
  • Describe, and apply the scientific method of reasoning including basic techniques such as positive and negative experimental controls, drawing conclusions from data, and accounting for uncertainty
  • Differentiate among facts, hypotheses, theories, and predictions
  • Use a model to generate and test hypotheses
  • Read and interpret graphs, scientific writing, and representations or schematics
  • Apply critical thinking and scientific reasoning to evaluate claims
  • Distinguish between dependent and independent variables and identify relationships between them.
  • Apply the SI system of units to measurements of mass, length, and volume
  • Express and discuss uncertainty in measurements, observations, and experiments
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02

World Biodiversity Expedition

What is life?

Unit Goal

Students observe at least 50 organisms from common and exotic biomes worldwide, recording traits used to classify the organisms in a Linnean-like system.

Topics Covered

Biodiversity, traits, classification

Unit Standards

  • Describe physical and/or behavioral characteristics of many species from several existing biomes, including familiar and so-called 'extreme' environments
  • Apply data gathered from observations and descriptions of species to the construction of a system of classification
  • Compare and contrast a self-made system of classification to the Linnaean system
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03

Journey to the Galapagos

How did life get so diverse?

Unit Goal

Students use published data and real-life examples to describe the theory of evolution by natural selection, including population trait distributions, Mendelian and non-Mendelian genetics, selective pressures, and speciation events.

Topics Covered

Mendelian genetics, non-Mendelian genetics, environmental selective pressures, predatory selective pressures, speciation, evolution

Unit Standards

  • Describe the theory of evolution by natural selection and its key concepts: adaptation to environment, descent with modification, and reproductive fitness
  • Apply the concepts of the theory of evolution to account for the hierarchy of shared characteristics via the Tree of Life
  • Describe Darwin's observations and hypotheses regarding natural selection and speciation
  • Define the biological species concept
  • Differentiate between allopatric and sympatric speciation
  • Describe Mendel's laws of inheritance (segregation, independent assortment, dominance) and the experiments that led to those laws
  • Make predictions and interpret results of single and double trait crosses using Punnett squares
  • Describe how chromosomes, genes, alleles, and DNA relate to each other
  • Make predictions and observe patterns associated with genetic diseases in a pedigree
  • Use data and observations to define concepts of exponential and logistic growth, carrying capacity of an ecosystem, and other factors limiting population distributions and dynamics
  • Describe various inter-species interactions including competitive, mutualistic, predator/prey, and parasitic relationships
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04

Time Traveler’s Guide to Life on Earth

How did life evolve?

Unit Goal

Students trace the evolution of life on Earth through immersive virtual field trips to three significant fossil record sites documenting the fall of dinosaurs, rise of animals, and earliest signatures of life on Earth to determine what type of life is most likely to be found on other worlds.

Topics Covered

Paleobiology, geologic evidence, ancient organisms, evolution

Unit Standards

  • Describe physical and/or behavioral characteristics of many species from several extinct biomes, including familiar and so-called 'extreme' environments
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05

Into the Cell

What is life made of?

Unit Goal

Students explore cellular anatomy through an interactive, three-dimensional, scientifically accurate model of the cell, performing various actions to enable cellular function in order to identify the features and functions of life that may be present on other worlds.

Topics Covered

Animal cell anatomy, plant cell anatomy, prokaryotic cell anatomy

Unit Standards

  • Identify structures and components of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells including the nucleus, ribosomes, genetic material, mitochondria, and chloroplasts
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06

Searching for Signatures

How could we test for life beyond Earth?

Unit Goal

Students explore the chemical structure, function, and reactions of Earth-based life, seeking common biochemical threads that provide clues during the search for existing and past life on other worlds.

Topics Covered

Introductory Chemistry, Biomacromolecules, Metabolism, Aerobic and Anaerobic Respiration, Oxygenic and Anoxygenic Photosynthesis, DNA Structure, Mitosis, Meiosis, Binary Fission, DNA Replication, DNA Transcription, Translation

Unit Standards

  • Identify structures and components of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells including the nucleus, ribosomes, genetic material, mitochondria, and chloroplasts
  • Identify and distinguish the structure and function of the four major classes of macromolecules used by biological systems: proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids
  • Describe the process and outcomes of mitosis
  • Define the concepts of atoms, molecules, chemical bonding, pH, and the polar nature of water as they apply to the structure and function of biological molecules
  • Describe and apply the tenets of cell theory: all cells come from other cells, all life is made of cells, cells are the basic units of life
  • Identify various forms of energy in the physical world and biology using proper units of measure (J, cal, kcal)
  • Outline the process of aerobic respiration including cycles/processes involved, input and waste molecules, and key electron carriers
  • Outline the processes of fermentation and anaerobic respiration including cycles/processes involved, input and waste molecules, and key electron carriers
  • Outline the process of photosynthesis including cycles/processes involved, input and waste molecules, and key electron carriers
  • Define the general steps of meiosis, its outcomes, and its relationship to sexual reproduction
  • Identify and describe the structure of DNA as well as the relationship between DNA structure and replication of the molecule
  • Describe and demonstrate the processes of transcription and translation
  • Identify and describe the structure of RNA as well as some of its roles within the cell.
  • Compare the outcomes and roles of mitosis and meiosis
  • Contrast the processes of mitosis and binary fission
  • Apply the concept of the central dogma of biology in the context of various mutations and predict the general effect of the mutation on the finished protein
  • Apply concepts of genetic information and mutation to evolution
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07

Blue Planet

What is the future of life on Earth?

Unit Goal

Students investigate the changes in Earth’s climate over the recent past, comparing those changes to historical data to identify trends and project impacts, then design a plan to reduce the impact of the present observed warming trend.

Topics Covered

Greenhouse effect, carbon cycle, historical and present causes and effects of climate change, ecological consequences of climate change

Unit Standards

  • Define, from observation and data, the roles of various components of the atmosphere as they influence climate
  • Describe and evaluate patterns of global climate change revealed through data, including the role of natural and anthropogenic processes
  • Analyze paleobiological and geological evidence from past global-scale warming and apply observed patterns to the current observed warming trend and evidence.
  • Identify natural and anthropogenic sources and sinks of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere.
  • Construct and use a model of anthropogenic effects on atmospheric carbon dioxide levels to evaluate possible future scenarios.
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08

A Mission Beyond

What is the future of life beyond Earth?

Unit Goal

Students design a crewed mission to Mars, exploring what we currently know about how prolonged spaceflight affects the muscular, skeletal and cardiovascular systems and then deciding how to counteract these challenges by selecting their crew and equipment, and designing diet and exercise plans for the mission.

Topics Covered

Anatomy and physiology; homeostasis; energy balance

Unit Standards

  • Identify and distinguish the major components of the muscular, skeletal, cardiovascular systems in humans
  • Compare the state of anatomical and physiological systems under stress to their normal state and analyze the long-term effects of remaining in the stressed state
  • Describe the structure and nature of positive and negative feedback in biological systems using at least two model systems and including disruptions to the normal state of those systems
  • Describe the physiological mechanisms of glucose regulation as a homeostatic system, and analyze failure of that regulation as it relates to diabetes
  • Perform an energy balance of an organism
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