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Keywords:

  • Cellular biology;
  • curriculum development;
  • general education for science majors;
  • inquiry-based teaching;
  • laboratory exercises

Abstract

Student-centered education involving research experiences or inquiry have been shown to help undergraduate students understand, and become excited about, the process of scientific investigation. These benefits are particularly important for students in the early stages of their degree (Report and Kenny, http://naplesccsunysbedu/Pres/boyernsf/1998). However, embedding such experiences into the curriculum is particularly difficult when dealing with early stage students, who are in larger cohorts and often lack the background content knowledge necessary to engage with primary research literature and research level methods and equipment. We report here the design, delivery, assessment, and subsequent student learning outcomes of a 4-week practical module for 120 students at the beginning of their second year of university, which successfully engages students in designing cell culture experiments and in understanding the molecular processes and machinery involved in the basic cellular process of macropinocytosis.