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


Date of this Version

Spring 6-2023

Document Type



Crawford, LB. FIRST Course Portfolio for BIOC205: Scientific Analysis and Technical Writing. University of Nebraska-Lincoln FIRST Program. 2023. University of Nebraska-Lincoln Faculty Course Portfolios. http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/prtunl


(c) Crawford, LB. University of Nebraska-Lincoln


BIOC205: Scientific Analysis and Technical Writing is a core course for the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This course is geared for second year (sophomore students) with minimal prerequisites and as a foundation for future classes. Challenges include 1) teaching the needed scientific background and elements of scientific analysis and writing to a broad cohort of students with diverse backgrounds and interests, 2) building student skills towards analysis of primary peer-reviewed scientific literature, 3) developing students as writers of scientific information for different audiences. This course used Genetic Engineering as a broad topic choice to capture students interests and provide a platform where students could select their main assignment topic (a scientific review article that they write using information from peer-reviewed sources) on something that interests them to improve student engagement. This portfolio outlines my design (first time teaching this course) in alignment with a core course taught five times per year by three different instructors and analysis of the success of structured assignments that build to a final comprehensive analysis. Data from this first cohort demonstrates that foundational assignments and step-wise feedback is effective at student learning and feedback from students supports a majority gaining confidence in their skills.