Jacquelyn Guilford

  • Alternative Text Resources for Biology
  • Compiled by Jacquelyn Guilford and Richard Whitkus
  • Dept. of Biology
  • Fall 2014

Through the SSU Textbook Alternative Program (TAP), we have reviewed various web resources that can be used in offering alternatives to standard textbooks for biology courses. Below are the resources we found that have potential. All are freely available (except for Wiley eLS).


Scitable – Nature Education http://www.nature.com/scitable 

Materials – Focus on genetics and cell biology, but includes areas for evolution and ecology. Peer articles for all levels in topic rooms, eBooks, blogs and forums, multimedia. 

OpenStax College – Rice University open source for science http://openstaxcollege.org/ 

 Materials – Introductory texts. Includes intro biology for both non-majors and majors, and human anatomy and physiology. 

Wiley eLS – Citable reviews in the life sciences http://www.els.net/WileyCDA/ 

Materials – Peer written short chapters on many topics, for all levels (freshmen through senior). Some overview articles available, many others not available through SSU library. Need to have access to utilize. 

National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science (NSF funded) http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/collection/ 

Materials – Case studies for lower division in all fields. Fairly extensive. 

CASES Online – Emory University http://www.cse.emory.edu/cases/ 

 Materials – Another science case study site. Has links to sites providing case studies. 

Merlot – California State University http://www.merlot.org/merlot/index.htm 

 Materials – Compendium of materials, including lessons, labs, case studies, articles, etc. 

Bozeman Science on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/bozemanbiology 

Materials – AP biology (and other sciences). Good material for review or supplements to lectures. Very clear and concise, all topics covered in about 10 minutes. 

CrashCourse on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/crashcourse 

 Materials – Biology and ecology (and other fields), mostly at AP or lower-division level. Quirky delivery of material covered in 10-15 minutes. 

John Kryk – Cell biology animation (plus evolution) http://www.johnkyrk.com/ 

 Materials – Highly detailed animations of many concepts in cell biology (including DNA). Also has wonderful sliding timeline for the evolution of the universe and life on earth (from pre-biotic to human cultures). Beautiful teaching tool. Introductory courses to upper division courses.