About This Course

This gateway biology course provides a strong foundation in the principles of biology for students majoring in a natural science, or the medical and healthcare fields. It is the second of a two-course sequence. Primary topics include the history of life, body systems, and ecology. The course incorporates flashcard practice sets to aid students as they learn relevant vocabulary.

This course was developed by Lumen Learning, with contributing work from Shelli Carter and Monisha Scott. The course is based on the OpenStax textbook Biology, supplemented with relevant materials from Khan Academy and videos from multiple sources. Original practice activities were authored by Shelli Carter and Lumen Learning in the development of this course.

Course Improvements

We believe in making continuous improvements to our courses in order to enhance and facilitate student learning. This newest version of the course includes a number of data-driven improvements to assessment questions and text content in order to better illustrate, clarify, and evaluate concepts.


This course was developed by Lumen Learning with significant contributions by:

Primary Content Authors
Shelli Carter, Contributor
Monisha Scott, Contributor

This book has benefited from the contributions of many people, including Caryn Bedford, Fran Best, Susan Cashdollar, Princy Chaudhary, Kirsten Grant, Olliver Glynn, Yasmin Hinde, Karl Jarvis, Charles Jones, Phumile Boniswa Khoza, Musembi Ndeto, Kristin Polizzotto, Hannah Raizman, Nekisha Santamaria, Adelina Sinclair, Tina Thanh Vo, Donna Vogler.

About Lumen

Lumen Learning courseware is based on open educational resources (OER). When we can find well designed, effective OER that are appropriately licensed, we use them in our courseware. When we can’t find pre-existing OER, we create original content and license it as OER (under a Creative Commons Attribution license).

Lumen’s authoring process doesn’t end when our courseware is released. Our choice to adopt open educational resources means that we have the copyright permissions necessary to engage in continuous improvement of our learning content. Consequently, our courses are continually being revised and updated. Errata reported for our courseware are fixed in a matter of days, as opposed to the traditional model in which errors persist until the next “edition” is printed (often a year or more). Students and faculty can suggest improvements to our courses directly from within the courseware as they use it. And we conduct regular analyses to determine where students are struggling the most in our courseware, and make improvements that specifically target these areas.

Given our unique approach, our list of authors and other contributors may look different than the lists you are used to seeing. We provide both a list of the primary content authors (the people involved in the initial creation of the course) and a list of everyone who has contributed suggestions and other improvements to the course since it was first released. We invite you to join us as we create courseware that supports student learning more effectively each semester.

If you’d like to connect with us to learn more about adopting this course, please Contact Us.

You can also make an appointment for OER Office Hours to connect virtually with a live Lumen expert about any question you may have.