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ERIC Number: EJ1028993
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1470-8175
Probing and Improving Student's Understanding of Protein a-Helix Structure Using Targeted Assessment and Classroom Interventions in Collaboration with a Faculty Community of Practice
Loertscher, Jennifer; VillafaƱe, Sachel M.; Lewis, Jennifer E.; Minderhout, Vicky
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, v42 n3 p213-223 May-Jun 2014
The increasing availability of concept inventories and other assessment tools in the molecular life sciences provides instructors with myriad avenues to probe student understanding. For example, although molecular visualization is central to the study of biochemistry, a growing body of evidence suggests that students have substantial limitations in their ability to recognize and interpret basic features of biological macromolecules. In this study, a pre/posttest administered to students at diverse institutions nationwide revealed a robust incorrect idea about the location of the amino acid side chains in the protein a-helix structure. Because this incorrect idea was present even after a semester of biochemistry instruction at a range of institutions, an intervention was necessary. A community of expert biochemistry instructors collaborated to design two active learning classroom activities that systematically examine a-helix structure and function. Several participating faculty used one or both of the activities in their classrooms and some improvement of student understanding of this concept was observed. This study provides a model of how a community of instructors can work together using assessment data to inform targeted changes in instruction with the goal of improving student understanding of fundamental concepts.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A