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


Date of this Version

Winter 1-6-2024

Document Type



Mena-Aguilar, D. Course Portfolio for (BIOC431) Biochemistry 1: Structure and Metabolism. University of Nebraska-Lincoln FIRST Program. 2023. University of Nebraska-Lincoln Faculty Course Portfolios. http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/prtunl


This benchmark portfolio encapsulates a comprehensive exploration aimed at enhancing the educational landscape of the BIOC431 course, a part of the general biochemistry course series (431 and 432). These courses are designed to offer a general introduction to the structure and function of cells in the body, along with their chemical reactions. Specifically, BIOC431 focuses on the structure, function, and metabolism of proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and other major metabolic pathways. The three primary objectives addressed in this portfolio were the reevaluation of learning objectives, reassessment of assessment methods, and documentation of effective classroom strategies. Through background design, the learning objectives for this course were simplified to enhance clarity for students. The evaluation of graded assessments, particularly the potential transition to shorter, correctness-graded homework assignments, reflects responsiveness to student feedback and a commitment to tasks that foster learning. In-class active learning activities were assessed, and based on student feedback, the pedagogical value of such strategies was emphasized. The implementation and evaluation of mandatory attendance underscored its positive correlation with student achievement, prompting consideration for its continued incorporation in future iterations of this course. This reflective journey has been characterized by engagement with student perspectives, enriching the understanding of their needs and experiences.