This article features an authentic research-lab experience developed for use in a freshman-level general biology course for nonmajors at a two-year college. Students work in groups to select and investigate factors affecting microalgal cell growth and relate their findings to a real-life application of social significance. This lab experience was designed using a four-step pedagogical framework originally developed at a four-year university in a sophomorelevel molecular and cell biology course. The creators of the pedagogical framework at the four-year university mentored the instructor at the twoyear college through the process of using the pedagogical framework to design and implement the authentic research lab experience described in this article. This example shows that adaptation of successful pedagogical models, particularly within mentoring partnerships, can greatly increase the implementation of authentic research experiences in biology lab courses at varying levels of study.
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Vol. 78 • No. 6