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ERIC Number: EJ899590
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 5
ISSN: ISSN-1470-8175
Commentary: Why Abandoning Undergraduate Laboratories Is Not an Option
Costa, Manuel Joao
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, v38 n5 p335-336 Sep-Oct 2010
Laboratory exercises (labs) are sometimes regarded as dispensable in biochemistry and molecular biology (BMB) education for various reasons including a combination of increased class costs and small budget allocations, pressing demands for more time to lecture to fit in new BMB discoveries within constant time span of courses, and the fact that labs look less powerful for illustrating BMB content as state-of-the-art research technologies gain complexity and sophistication. Recent reports emphasize the need for severe changes: from "cookbook" labs--in which students do little more than following a protocol, one step at a time with highly predictable results--to "enquiry-driven" or "project-like" labs. Dropping labs may look far more convenient than making profound reforms, which are always time consuming and, at the end of the day, will not be taken into consideration in academic faculty evaluations or promotions. In this article, the author explains the significance of student-centered laboratory exercises in BMB curricula and discusses how to design feasible student-centered labs. The author argues that laboratory exercises are indispensable in BMB curricula, as long as they are designed with the students in mind.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A