Developing teachers’ understanding of molecular biology: Building a foundation for students


Molecular biology often uses participation in active research laboratories as a form of educational training. However, this approach to learning severely restricts access. As a way of addressing this need, the University of Hawaii launched a project to expand this model to include newly developed online training materials in addition to a hands-on laboratory experience. This paper further explores the process of material development and assessment plans. A pilot case study of a group of advanced biology teachers who embark on learning molecular biology over a four-month period through online training materials and working side-by-side with medical researchers in a laboratory is described. Teachers were positive in reporting about the many areas they gained instruction in although some feedback suggested that the initial online materials over-emphasised abstract concepts and laboratory techniques and did not adequately connect to the active research problems or local context of most interest to teachers and students. The experiences of the teachers are shared in an effort to gain insight on how teachers perceive their participation in the study.


Peer-reviewed, Published in Full, molecular biology, blended learning, learning objects, higher education


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