At a Glance


  • STEM
  • Biology

Instructional Level

  • College & CEGEP
  • University


  • Biology

Tasks in Workflow

Social Plane(s)

  • Individual
  • Group

Type of Tasks

  • Reviewing & assessing peers
  • Revising & improving
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Taking a quiz & test

Technical Details

Useful Technologies

  • Clicker system

Class size

  • Small (20-49)


  • Single class period (< 90 mins)

Instructional Purpose

  • Application & knowledge building
  • Assessment & knowledge refinement


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.

Instructional 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.

Workflow & Materials


Activity Workflow

View on CourseFlow

Contributor's Notes

Edward Awad

Edward Awad

Vanier College, Montreal


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 from the course.


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.


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.

Applied Strategies


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