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Keywords:

  • Matrix;
  • assessment;
  • undergraduate;
  • biochemistry;
  • laboratory;
  • skills

Abstract

We have designed a skills matrix to be used for developing and assessing undergraduate biochemistry and molecular biology laboratory curricula. We prepared the skills matrix for the Project Kaleidoscope Summer Institute workshop in Snowbird, Utah (July 2001) to help current and developing undergraduate biochemistry and molecular biology program designers to determine which laboratory techniques, skills, and theories to include in a 4-year plan. The skills matrix can be used to evaluate and assess the types of laboratory skills as well as the level at which they are taught in biochemistry and molecular biology curricula. The matrix can foster better communication between faculty in chemistry, biology, math, and physics as they share curricular information. As an example of utility of the skills matrix, we used it to survey several commonly used biochemistry laboratory manuals to evaluate the skills covered in each text.