Catalyzing the Understanding of Enzyme Kinetics
A Consistent Application of Constructive Alignment and Its Evaluation
In this study, the principles of constructive alignment were applied to an introductory lecture offered every year for bachelor students in the Faculty of Biosciences at Heidelberg University. The introductory lecture is part of a course that consists of the lecture followed by a practical laboratory session on the topic of enzyme kinetics. This course sequence is repeatedly taught over five weeks to 25-40 students each week. The motivation to use this course as a didactical experiment stemmed from the observations I made in previous years that (1) only a fraction of the students actively participated during the lecture and (2) a significant portion of the students did not grasp key concepts. Hence, I started this project by asking myself how I could design my teaching in a way that would engage the most students in active learning and would help them understand what I wanted to convey. To achieve this goal, I decided to apply the concept of constructive alignment by John Biggs. To do so, I redesigned the introductory lecture to first introduce learning objectives (LOs) and then broke down the lecture in blocks that covered each LO and were followed by a dedicated teaching-learning activity (TLA). In this report, I present the design and outcomes of the re-designed lecture and discuss successes, limitations, and potential improvements.
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Julien Béthune is a professor for molecular biology and cell culture techniques at