Overview

This flipped-classroom activity gets students to identify and compare biological molecules of a specific type (e.g., carbohydrates, lipids, etc.) based on their structure and function.

Students form teams of 2-3 and fill in a table with information on biological molecule biochemistry (functional groups, linkage types, element ratios, etc.), and the roles of each biological molecule in living organisms.

Once complete, groups switch sheets with one another and peer review each other's work. Students highlight any incorrect answers they find.

After peer review, the class regroups and the instructor gives students clicker questions to answer individually. These questions build on ...

Read More +

This flipped-classroom activity gets students to identify and compare biological molecules of a specific type (e.g., carbohydrates, lipids, etc.) based on their structure and function.

Students form teams of 2-3 and fill in a table with information on biological molecule biochemistry (functional groups, linkage types, element ratios, etc.), and the roles of each biological molecule in living organisms.

Once complete, groups switch sheets with one another and peer review each other's work. Students highlight any incorrect answers they find.

After peer review, the class regroups and the instructor gives students clicker questions to answer individually. These questions build on the information contained in the biological molecule sheet and are intended to get students to think more deeply about the connections among biological molecule types.

The activity finishes with groups re-evaluating their own tables and modifying any incorrect information they find.

Read Less -

Objectives

Students work both as a team and individually during this activity, enabling them to develop autonomous critical thinking skills, as well as collaborative skills.

This activity is intended to highlight similarities and differences among biological molecule types in a way that students can easily follow and use to compare/contrast with other biological molecules,(e.g., lipids versus carbohydrates). Since this is a flipped-classroom activity, the biological molecules table is a useful tool that helps to solidify the key concepts students are required to know from their assigned readings.

Context and requirements

Level College/First year university
Discipline Biology
Activity Content Biological molecules, functional groups, biochemical structures
Technological Requirements Clickers
Best Use Practice

Author’s Notes

Benefits

This activity provides students with both individual work (clicker questions) and group work (filling in the table), which helps them to develop critical thinking skills and collaboration. Filling in the table is a good summary activity that reinforces the essential knowledge the students are required to learn_â___from the course.

Challenges

Students can struggle with the terminology (memorizing names and structures). It can also be challenging to keep students on task because they get overwhelmed reading and understanding diagrams of complex structures.

Tips

Keep students on task by using a visual timer (e.g., a computer clock on smart board), and by reminding them how much time they have left to complete the activity.

Activity Pedagogical Components

Preparation

Students read through and watch related videos of the class material OUTSIDE OF CLASS prior to the lesson. Students take a quiz (on Moodle) to test that they understand the material they have read and watched.

Application

In GROUPS of 2-3 IN CLASS, students apply what they know by filling in a table with information on biological molecule function, as well as biochemical information.

Peer Review

GROUPS switch sheets and peer review each other’s answers, looking for any incorrect information in the table.

Analysis and Understanding

Students INDIVIDUALLY answer clicker questions that build on the information contained in the biological molecules table. These questions are designed to test their understanding, and also encourage students to apply what they have learned to new situations.

Self-evaluation

As GROUPS, students re-evaluate their own biological molecule sheet, taking into consideration the corrections of their peers and what they have learned from the clicker questions. This is an opportunity to fix any mistakes in their own work.

Download Flowchart Download Complete Material