If They Build It Student-Designed Assignments in a Molecular Biology Laboratory

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Bryan Wang


In an undergraduate biochemistry and molecular biology lab course, students designed their own final assignment to communicate their laboratory work to non-disciplinary audiences. A “meta-assignment” guided them as they proposed the content, form, and process requirements. Students strove to develop unique ideas, and all successfully completed their self-assigned projects. Providing students in this class with the freedom, responsibility, and appropriate scaffolding to build their own projects and learning experiences allowed them to interact with their discipline in new ways and enhanced their abilities to design and plan their work, communicate scientific ideas to nonscientists, and think creatively.

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Wang, B. (2021). If They Build It: Student-Designed Assignments in a Molecular Biology Laboratory. Prompt: A Journal of Academic Writing Assignments, 5(2). https://doi.org/10.31719/pjaw.v5i2.85