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ERIC Number: EJ1038730
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Sep
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1931-7913
Identification of Threshold Concepts for Biochemistry
Loertscher, Jennifer; Green, David; Lewis, Jennifer E.; Lin, Sara; Minderhout, Vicky
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v13 n3 p516-528 Sep 2014
Threshold concepts (TCs) are concepts that, when mastered, represent a transformed understanding of a discipline without which the learner cannot progress. We have undertaken a process involving more than 75 faculty members and 50 undergraduate students to identify a working list of TCs for biochemistry. The process of identifying TCs for biochemistry was modeled on extensive work related to TCs across a range of disciplines and included faculty workshops and student interviews. Using an iterative process, we prioritized five concepts on which to focus future development of instructional materials. Broadly defined, the concepts are steady state, biochemical pathway dynamics and regulation, the physical basis of interactions, thermodynamics of macromolecular structure formation, and free energy. The working list presented here is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather is meant to identify a subset of TCs for biochemistry for which instructional and assessment tools for undergraduate biochemistry will be developed.
American Society for Cell Biology. 8120 Woodmont Avenue Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814-2762. Tel: 301-347-9300; Fax: 301-347-9310; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Minnesota; Washington
Grant or Contract Numbers: NSF DUE- 1224868