- HHMI NEWS
- SCIENTISTS & RESEARCH
- JANELIA FARM
- SCIENCE EDUCATION
- RESOURCES & PUBLICATIONS
BROWSE ALL RESOURCES
BY TYPEAnimation (3) Book/Manual (4) CD (1) Classroom Activity (12) College Course (6) Curriculum (11) Game (1) Kit (1) Lab (9) Lesson Plan (5) Publication (23) Software (3) Tutorial (5) Video (24) Website (47) Wiki (2)
BY TOPICBiochemistry (14) Biodiversity (3) Bioengineering (3) Bioethics (3) Bioinformatics (8) Biology (104) Biotechnology (9) Cell Biology (3) Chemistry (17) Earth Science (1) Ecology (9) Engineering (1) Evolution (10) General Science (15) Genetics (29) Genomics (13) Immunology (2) Infectious Diseases (1) Life Science (65) Mathematics (9) Medicine (6) Microarrays (5) Microbiology (3) Molecular biology (34) Neuroscience (7) Physics (5) Plants (2) Professional Development (35) Research methods (12) Science Communication (2) Systems Biology (1)
BY GRADE LEVELK-16 (1) 4-8 (1) K-5 (6) Medical School (6) K-3 (2) K-8 (2) K-12 (9) 6-8 (18) 9-12 (52) College (101) Graduate (21)
Online Protocol Annotation: A Method to Enhance Undergraduate Laboratory Research Skills
This article describes the experiences of two Davidson College scientists in developing and using a website that enables students to annotate the protocols of their developmental neurobiology research lab. Using the message board format selected by the authors, undergraduates can post comments on research methods they are mastering by describing the lessons they learned, questions that arose, and/or insights they gained while learning to execute specific research protocols. The authors contend that the annotation process encourages students to reflect actively on their execution of techniques and also demonstrates why understanding a protocol’s details is a critical factor in execution, trouble-shooting, and producing reliable data. For the lab's ongoing operations, the annotations (by supplying missing details, offering hints, and describing common hurdles for newcomers) capture valuable insights for future researchers. The authors explain why they chose “Vanilla,” free, open-source message board software, to create their interactive protocol website. The format, which allows protocols to be organized into General Lab Maintenance and other categories, empowers students to contribute comments without sacrificing the clarity of, or risking overwriting, the original protocol. The authors also provide the questions they developed to stimulate reflection, and they explain why they use a moderator to review the annotations and periodically update the protocols. This article first appeared in the fall 2008 issue of CBE Life Sciences Education, an online journal. The Lom Lab Protocols website is also available online within this database.
Program Director: Verna Miller Case, Ph.D.
Award Years: 1988, 1996, 2004, 2008
Summary: Davidson College is a private baccalaureate institution in Davidson, North Carolina. Its HHMI-funded initiatives include:
- The use of multiple strategies to engage students in the biomedical sciences, including the creation of a community of mentors and peers to carry students beyond the gateway year;
- An intensive summer laboratory “bridge” experience for rising high school seniors from underrepresented groups that prepares them for the challenges of college introductory biology courses by teaching them basic laboratory techniques and scientific methodology; and
- Support for the collaborative Genomic Consortium for Active Teaching (GCAT), which has helped produce new cadres of student researchers, primarily by introducing powerful DNA microarray methodology into the undergraduate curriculum at more than 160 institutions in the United States and Canada.