Faculty-led Inquiry into Reflective and Scholarly Teaching (FIRST)


Date of this Version


Document Type



This portfolio has been developed for Biochemistry II: Metabolism and Biological Information (BIOC/BIOS/CHEM 432/832). This course is taken primarily by senior undergraduates with majors mainly in biochemistry. The objectives of this course portfolio are: 1) to provide a broad overview for this 400 level class; 2) to revise/refine the course using a backward design approach with clear student learning objectives; 3) to assess and reflect the instructor’s teaching approach; and 4) to analyze and reflect on student learning. The course structure was redesigned with three modules to support the learning objectives of this course. Course activities for each module include pre-class homework, in-class iClicker questions and case studies, one post-class problem set, and one examination. Data analysis revealed that these course activities and assessments promote student learning. While the majority of students found the course contents and assessments (examinations in particular) very challenging, more than 50% of students reported that this course increased their interests in biochemistry. As reflected by the course evaluation implemented by UNL, students had a great semester in this class. The instructor will continue to improve his teaching mainly focusing on: 1) increasing students’ interest in biochemistry by providing case studies and problem sets; and 2) promoting students’ active learning by increasing student-centered teaching in the coming years.