P842: To form a more perfect union: Integrating faculty scholarship into biochemistry teaching lab

Author: Garland L. Crawford, Mercer University, USA

Co-Author:

Date: 8/6/14

Time: 4:20 PM4:40 PM

Room: LOH 174

Related Symposium: S54

In an effort to integrate traditional teaching and scholarship roles, I have integrated an enzyme project from my research into a second semester biochemistry laboratory as an opportunity to develop possible future research projects. Students used standard molecular biology cloning techniques followed by protein expression, purification, and characterization and, in doing so, were exposed to the full range of modern, interdisciplinary biochemical techniques. In addition to meeting the traditional objectives for a biochemistry laboratory, students receive the benefit of exposure to a semester-long research project with clear connections between otherwise disparate techniques. As an added benefit, my scholarship was augmented by a preliminary screening of multiple potential research projects that may have taken individual student researchers years to accomplish. The talk will address the planning involved in utilizing this approach, student reflections, and plans for improvement in future laboratory courses. Additionally, emphasis will be placed on identifying other research projects that fit into this model.

P327: Using liberal arts strategies to develop critical thinking in biochemistry courses

Author: Garland L. Crawford, Mercer University, USA

Co-Author:

Date: 8/4/14

Time: 2:25 PM2:45 PM

Room: MAK B1112

Related Symposium: S27

Many students approach biochemistry as a separate entity with its own knowledge base and not as the integration of previously-learned concepts such as free energy, acids and bases, equilibrium, organic functional groups and mechanisms, and cellular organization. Because of its integrative nature, biochemistry provides many opportunities for students to engage in higher order thinking. In an effort to move students in this direction of knowledge integration and critical thinking, liberal arts strategies were incorporated into two upper-level biochemistry courses. Structured writing assignments, idea summations, biochemical reflections, and small group discussions have been implemented to encourage students to evaluate new material using concepts from previous courses. These activities enabled students to extend beyond short-term recall toward higher order thinking. This talk will address the particular liberal arts strategies used in the biochemistry courses, student reflections on the individual assignments, and plans for improvement in future courses.