Date of Award

Summer 8-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Jeffry L. Shultz


According to the National Science Foundation’s report “Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: A Call to Action,” project-based learning creates effective graduates and future collaborators. Instructors who are able to adapt their course to meet the unique interests of their students create graduates who are more likely to engage with peers and to retain the information taught throughout the class. The goal of this project was to develop a course based on student-driven, evidence-based learning. Five major and 12 minor, student-selectable labs were implemented in the initial test reported herein. A total of seven undergraduate students and three graduate students attempted combinations of these labs. Our goal was to reinforce the pervasive nature of the Central Dogma, Transmission Genetics, and the Hardy-Weinberg assumptions in biological sciences research. We report on the success of each lab and discuss the work required to improve on this concept.