- Despite the unique character of each discipline and corresponding academic department, we share a common set of teaching goals.
Employers and admissions committees are looking for candidates who are critical thinkers, cooperative team players, and excellent problem solvers.
Many of these attributes are developed in our laboratory courses in Natural Sciences and Engineering.
- Five major learning objectives in the laboratory courses contribute to development of these attributes. Review the laboratory
teaching/learning objectives and performance
These are the real goals of our program, which transcend all majors, departments, and individual courses, regardless of content.
- Our Lab Proficiency Scale was developed to promote self-evaluation of competency in key areas: obtaining and analyzing data, communicating information and ideas,
establishing context, integrating and applying knowledge, and maintaining productive work habits and relationships.
- The undergraduate program is a series of steps. Keep in mind that a level of performance that would result in a B/B+ or sometimes even an A at the introductory level, does not (and should not)
translate into a high grade at the advanced level.
We forgive a lot of mistakes early on but you must recall the lessons learned from these mistakes when you conduct similar work at an advanced level.
Additionally, the criteria we use to evaluate your performance in an advanced laboratory course are different from those we use in an introductory course.
- BIOS 313 is a CAPSTONE course: the crowning achievement, the acme of your undergraduate laboratory training at Rice.
We assess your abilities to apply knowledge you've gained in other laboratory
and lecture courses to the presentation and communication of a real research project.
- This laboratory course advances skills introduced
in Bios 312. The ability to work effectively as
part of a team is part of the "Maturity
and responsibility" objective shared by the undergraduate
teaching laboratories in Natural Sciences and Engineering
Learning Objectives); teamwork is a major emphasis
of this lab course. Teams use microarrays to analyze
gene expression and prepare and give PowerPoint presentations
to communicate their findings. Our emphasis
is on the PROCESS of science (i.e., fundamental abilities)
rather than the CONTENT (i.e., discipline-specific lab techniques).
The presentation is BOTH a TEAM and an INDIVIDUAL
Therefore, EACH of you is responsible for the ENTIRE presentation,
not just the part(s) you worked on.
Furthermore, you are expected to understand the rationale behind
all of the experimental procedures and the meaning of the results.
We will use the Presentation
Evaluation Form to grade your presentation.
- Thus, I expect you not only to retain and use what you learned
in Bios 211, 311, and 312 laboratory courses, but also to build
on that foundation and achieve higher competencies. Here are
some examples of how we are "raising the bar:"
- Bios 313 is my MOST ADVANCED laboratory course and
requires greater independence than Bios 312.
You spend just THREE days performing actual lab procedures. The
experimental procedures are often less demanding than those you
performed in Bios 311; HOWEVER, just because the experiments
may be "easier" does not mean the
lab requires less effort. I place a greater emphasis on
analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data; if
you keep a "sloppy" notebook and slap a presentation
together at the last minute without really understanding "why" you
did a procedure and "what" the results mean,
you will be disappointed with your final grade.
- The team lab notebook will be graded ONCE, after lab has
ended; team members record their individual activities
and observations and initial all entries.
You are responsible for maintaining a research quality notebook
that follows the guidelines we have given you.
We will use the BIOS 313 Notebook
Checklist to grade your lab notebook.
We intend to use the overall quality of the laboratory notebook and your specific notebook entries to evaluate your individual effort.
- You and your partner(s) will prepare a PowerPoint Presentation
that is 67% of your final grade. This presentation is BOTH
a TEAM and an INDIVIDUAL project.
- You must work as part of a TEAM as well as function INDEPENDENTLY.
- PRE-requisite = Bios 312: Experimental Molecular Biology
- ***You will need the following items for the FIRST day
- Lab notebook (ONE PER TEAM): Hayden-McNeil, Chemistry Top 100-set, ISBN 978-1-930882-00-9 OR Chemistry Top 50-set, ISBN 978-1-930882-50-5
- Extra Fine Sharpie
- Ball Point Pen
- Safety Glasses
- This course is intended to allow you to apply your understanding
of the material by participating in the design of the experiment.
The procedures for experiments are not always "cookbook" and
in some instances serve only as a guide to explain what is
to be accomplished. You must understand the objectives of
the experiments and the theory of the procedures to make
rational decisions to meet the experimental goals.
- You must come to lab prepared--this requires you to READ the experimental protocols on the course web site BEFORE coming to lab, not just print a copy of them and bring it
with you. Bring only the information you need to perform the experiments.
The procedures for each day are available from the Course Schedule page, and you will be given any additional information in the pre-lab lectures.
Interdisciplinary Web-based Teaching Laboratory Materials pages were developed so that you can continuously advance your
skills as you progress throughout your undergraduate career, even as you take courses from different departments. We hope to eliminate inconsistencies, to reinforce
universal truths, and to impress upon you the interdisciplinary nature of science and engineering.
Examples of reference materials (pdf format) include dimensions and units, graphing, and error analysis and significant figures.
- SPECIAL NOTE: Digital image acquisition and processing tools make manipulation and idealization of raw images an easy task.
and Intended Use
Created by B. Beason (firstname.lastname@example.org),
Rice University, 29 June 2006
Updated 3 July 2007