Student Scientists: Transforming the Undergraduate Biology Lab into a Research Experience

Christine M. Goedhart, Jacqueline S. McLaughlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This article features an authentic research-lab experience developed for use in a freshman-level general biology course for nonmajors at a two-year college. Students work in groups to select and investigate factors affecting microalgal cell growth and relate their findings to a real-life application of social significance. This lab experience was designed using a four-step pedagogical framework originally developed at a four-year university in a sophomorelevel molecular and cell biology course. The creators of the pedagogical framework at the four-year university mentored the instructor at the twoyear college through the process of using the pedagogical framework to design and implement the authentic research lab experience described in this article. This example shows that adaptation of successful pedagogical models, particularly within mentoring partnerships, can greatly increase the implementation of authentic research experiences in biology lab courses at varying levels of study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-508
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Biology Teacher
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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