BIOL 1107L Lab reflection

BIOL 1107 Lab Course Reflection
Ping Yu
BIOL 1107 is a 3 hour lab course for the Principles of Biology course. This lab course
introduces key concepts, lab techniques, data collection and analysis, and basic
bioinformatics methods used in biology.
In this lab course, there are about 20 students in each class. Students are grouped in
three as lab partners to work together to learn lab techniques and to do group
presentations at the end of the lab. Students will learn basic lab techniques such as the
use of dissecting microscope, pipettes, electronic balances, microscope slide
preparation, DNA isolation, PCR, gel electrophoresis, etc, in collaborative group learning.
Also, students will learn the proper methodology to collect observational data and to
analyze the data using the proper statistical methods.
The objective of this lab course is to let the students gain basic knowledge in principle
biology, develop basic lab techniques needed in this filed and acquire skills in working
with others as a member of a team.
For the first weeks, students will learn the basic knowledge and lab techniques needed
by professionals in the field related to this course. Then for the last five weeks, students
are given a project that they will work with the lab partners to learn lab techniques that
are used in science to study genetic diseases. Lab partners will go online or read books
to get a solid understanding of one human genetic disease, its typical pattern of
inheritance, and how scientists are able to determine if someone is a carrier for that
disease. In the end, lab partners will give a presentation about how they can identify a
carrier for certain genetic disease using the techniques they learned in the lab. The
other groups will serve as audiences to do peer-review and evaluate their work.
This lab course is sort of an active learning course which includes inquiry-based
laboratories and collaborative learning by giving students a specific project and letting
them learn and research in groups. This will greatly prompt students’ self-learning ability
as well as motivate students to think actively and truly understand the concepts instead
of only memorizing a bunch of definitions.
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