At a Glance


  • STEM
  • Biology

Instructional Level

  • College & CEGEP


  • Biology II

Tasks in Workflow

Social Plane(s)

  • Group
  • Whole Class

Type of Tasks

  • Discussing
  • Gaming & role-playing

Technical Details

Useful Technologies

  • Interactive whiteboards and/or clickers

Class size

  • Small (20-49)


  • Single class period (< 90 mins)

Instructional Purpose

  • Application & knowledge building


This activity examines the light dependent reactions of photosynthesis. In groups students answer questions relating to the electron transport chain, photosystems I & II, and photosynthetic pigments. The students are invited to consider various hypothetical scenarios and are provided ample structured time to consider and explain their implications. Finally, a table comparing non-cyclic and cyclic photophosphorylation is completed.

Before class students are asked to watch two videos, read an assigned handout and complete a quiz. In class the instructor goes over the assignment and addresses any questions. Students will complete an in class quiz individually and their activity in groups. The groups assess their peers work. The instructor reviews the answers and grades the grading. The students then have some multiple choice questions to answer individually (if less than 70% got the answer correct they can re-answer as a group).

Instructional Objectives

  • To develop a better understanding of the light dependent reactions of photosynthesis.
  • To appreciate the role of photosynthetic pigments and the electron transport chain.

Workflow & Materials


Activity Workflow

View on CourseFlow

Contributor's Notes

Francesca Theriault

Francesca Theriault

Dawson College, Montreal

  • The use of conceptual questions encourages student engagement.
  • Peer instruction and grading encourages engagement and reduces instructor workload.
  • Given the nature of the activity keeping students on task and answering questions can be challenging.
  • Instructors can make the students check each other’s work throughout the activity.
  • 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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