Scientific research is a collaborative endeavor. I plan to focus this hybrid re-design of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Laboratory on promoting collaboration across teams and lab sections.
Pitfall #5: Ignore the ways students learn from each other stood out to me as something to avoid.
To facilitate students learning from peers as well as the instructional team, I plan to:
- Integrate collaborative work groups and spaces in the on-line environment. I plan to use a digital scientific notebook platform called Benchling, so students can share project ideas, plan experiments, and analyze data.
- Design course assessments to emphasize student collaboration.
Examples might include teams of 4-5 students work on a research project over the term with multiple check points/lab meetings occurring in group discussions. Each team could create a scientific poster based on their experimental results. I could set up a peer review of other teams’ posters. Finally students would present at a virtual research fair. Individual students could also prepare flash talks on their projects and get critiques from their peers.
One area I am thinking about is how to introduce my graduate teaching assistants to this digital space. I would like them to contribute to the collaborative work space design and “customize” it.