time limit. However, if quantification is considered a critical portion of the lab, preparation of the organisms must be completed
before students start the lab. PCR may not be completed in the
three-hour slot and may occur as a separate lab session or may
be loaded and/or run outside of the classroom.
The current learning module is developed for an introductory-level undergraduate biology laboratory, but simple modification may allow for development of an upper-level curriculum.
For example, DNA sequencing could be added to this procedure,
and complete DNA barcoding could be included for upper-level
classes. Additionally, for environmental science courses, the use
of macroinvertebrates in preserved collections may allow the further identification of a broader diversity of macroinvertebrates.
Overall, the flexibility and the integration of concepts presented
in this learning module provide a unique opportunity for the
advancement of introductory biology laboratory investment at
the undergraduate level.
Carew, M.E., Pettigrove, V.J., Metzeling, L. & Hoffmann, A.A. (2013).
Environmental monitoring using next generation sequencing: rapid
identification of macroinvertebrate bioindicator species. Frontiers in
Zoology, 10, 45.
Folmer, O., Black, M., Hoeh, W., Lutz, R. & Vrijenhoek, R. (1994). DNA
primers for amplification of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase
subunit I from diverse metazoan invertebrates. Molecular Marine
Biology and Biotechnology, 3, 294–299.
Momsen, J.L., Long, T.M., Wyse, S.A. & Ebert-May, D. (2010). Just the facts?
Introductory undergraduate biology courses focus on low-level
cognitive skills. Cell Biology Education, 9, 435–440.
Pfrender, M.E., Hawkins, C.P., Bagley, M., Courtney, G.W., Creutzburg, B.R.,
Epler, J.H. et al. (2010). Assessing macroinvertebrate biodiversity in
freshwater ecosystems: advances and challenges in DNA-based
approaches. Quarterly Review of Biology, 85, 319–340.
MIRANDA JACKSON ( email@example.com) is a Bioinformatics
alumna and BR. ALBERT S. GAHR, OSB ( firstname.lastname@example.org), is an
Associate Professor in the Biology Department, St. Vincent College, Latrobe,
Table 8. Success rate for completion of learning
module by undergraduate student in the summer
Total samples run 47
Total samples with only one organism/
Total samples successful 21
Percentage of success 54%
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