At a Glance


  • STEM
  • Biology

Instructional Level

  • University

Tasks in Workflow

Social Plane(s)

  • Group

Type of Tasks

  • Collecting & seeking information
  • Discussing
  • Analyzing

Technical Details


  • Single class period (< 90 mins)

Instructional Purpose

  • Consolidation & metacognition


In this jigsaw-based activity, students review protein separation methods.

The class is divided into 2 groups, with about 3-5 students per group. One group reviews polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE)-based protein separation, while the other group reviews liquid chromatography (LC)-based protein separation. Each group is responsible for looking up either PAGE or LC methods (4 methods per group), and each student within the group is responsible for learning all the material. The class comes back together, and one student from each group is paired with a student from the opposite group. Pairs teach each other about the protein separation methods they reviewed. The class regroups and the instructor goes over the material to make sure there are no misconceptions and to answer any student questions.

Instructional Objectives

  • Students will be able to explain the two main types of protein separation methods.
  • Students work both as a team and individually during this activity, enabling them to develop autonomous critical thinking skills, as well as collaborative skills.

Workflow & Materials


Activity Workflow

View on CourseFlow

Contributor's Notes


Rather than lecture students on each individual separation method, students are responsible for learning it themselves in groups and teaching their peers. Student engagement and material retention have improved since using this activity to review protein separation methods in the Functional Genomics course.


Making sure there are no misconceptions propagated through students teaching each other.


Review the material together as a class at the end of the activity to address any misconceptions that might have arisen from peer teaching.

Applied Strategies


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