Open-ended assignments and student responsibility

Annelie Brauner, Jannette Carey, Marie Henriksson, Maria Sunnerhagen, Ewa Ehrenborg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


An inquiry-based laboratory course was created in an effort to increase student responsibility in learning and to improve teaching in areas related to molecular medicine. Authentic medical cases with both scientific and clinical aspects formed the basis of a project-oriented course that also included student laboratory work focused on the disease-related proteins. Students used basic biochemical techniques to develop and test hypotheses relating their results to the clinical findings. The course also included patient demonstrations to personalize students' knowledge of case presentations, lectures on basic biochemical principles relevant to the molecular basis of the cases, and seminars by invited guests with expertise in translational medicine. Students developed proposals for future research as part of the final examination. An inquiry matrix was used to evaluate the degree of learning responsibility taken during the course. By allowing for openness in how to explore the case including choice of methods and interpretation of unexpected results, students gained confidence in their ability to solve problems, formulate and test hypotheses, and collaborate with both clinical and non-clinical professionals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-192
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry


  • Case methodology
  • Interprofessional
  • Protein biochemistry
  • Undergraduate education


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