Using the Computer Game “FoldIt” to Entice Students to Explore External Representations of Protein Structure in a Biochemistry Course for Nonmajors


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This article describes a novel approach to teaching novice Biochemistry students visual literacy skills and understanding of some aspects of protein structure using the internet resource FoldIt and a worksheet based on selected Introductory Puzzles from this computer game. In responding to a questionnaire, students indicated that they (94%) enjoyed playing the game and furthermore, they indicated that they (100%) perceived an improvement in their understanding of protein structure as a result. Instructor observation of the students using the game together with the worksheet corroborated the results of the student perception survey. © 2012 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 41(1):56–57, 2013