Increasing Authenticity & Inquiry in the Cell & Molecular Biology Laboratory

Jacqueline S. McLaughlin, Melissa S. Coyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This article features a four-step pedagogical framework that can be used to transform the undergraduate biology laboratory into an authentic research experience. The framework utilizes a four-step scaffolding structure that not only guides students through the process of science and helps them gain mastery of relevant scientific practices, but also simplifies and streamlines the instructor's process of designing and implementing an authentic research experience in a biology lab course. We used this pedagogical framework to design an authentic research experience in which students investigated various factors affecting the growth and viability of a mammalian cell line, Vero cells isolated from kidney epithelial cells extracted from an African green monkey. Although this particular lab was designed for a cell and molecular biology course for university sophomores, the flexibility built into the pedagogical framework allows it to be used to design research experiences that can be implemented within a wide variety of lab courses at varying levels, effectively increasing the amount of authentic research experiences in biology lab courses nationwide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)492-500
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Biology Teacher
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Increasing Authenticity & Inquiry in the Cell & Molecular Biology Laboratory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this