The Impact of a Four-Step Laboratory Pedagogical Framework on Biology Students’ Perceptions of Laboratory Skills, Knowledge, and Interest in Research

Jacqueline Shea McLaughlin, David E. Favre, Suzanne E. Weinstein, Christine M. Goedhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Authentic undergraduate research laboratory experiences are essential to aid in the implementation of science education reform mandates and to effectively train a new generation of biology students. Here we present assessment data on a unique four-step laboratory pedagogical framework that allows students to develop scientific thinking and practices while authentically engaging in the scientific process. This framework was used to transform a sophomore-level introductory biology laboratory course for biology majors at a 4-year college and an honors introductory biology laboratory course for nonmajors at a 2-year college. The goal of each transformation was to provide students with the opportunity to experience research in the manner in which professional research scientists conduct it through devising, designing, executing, interpreting, and communicating their experimental results. Student responses to the assessments used in this study showed improvements in 4-year and 2-year college students’ perceptions of their laboratory skills and knowledge, and 2-year college students’ interest in doing further research in the laboratory. The simplicity and flexibility involved in the four-step model allows it to be easily adopted for use across multiple institutional contexts and levels of biological study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-91
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of College Science Teaching
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education

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