We designed a human biology course that interests nonmajors while improving science literacy through student engagement, using a constructivist-inspired, topic-centered approach. This way of learning highlights common diseases that provide a basis to incorporate specific biological concepts. The topic-centered approach triggers interest and increases positive perceptions of learning science, and students find applicability in what they learn. In alignment with the Vision and Change report of AAAS, this course addresses the need to focus on connecting biology principles with real-world concerns, while incorporating students’ experiences into the learning process.

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