Inquiry-based Integrated Instructional Units (I3U)

Model of I3U The above model was determined to be most effective in reaching laboratory learning goals by a consensus committee of the National Research Council of the National Academies in their 2006 study, "America's Lab Report."

I3Us are inquiry-based laboratory experiences that follow the instructional design principles recommended in the NRC's "America's Lab Report" (National Academies Press, 2006, p. 6):

  • They are designed with clear learning outcomes in mind
  • They are thoughtfully sequenced into the flow of classroom science instruction
  • They are designed to integrate the learning of science content with learning about the process of science
  • They incorporate ongoing student reflection and discussion
The ultimate goal of this initiative is to develop a set of I3Us that can be used across the curriculum, from non-majors courses through upper-level electives, that can be widely adapted for use by other colleges and universities. An I3U can be designed using one of several formats:
  • A single laboratory/computing module in an existing course
  • New course curriculum
  • Inter-departmental collaborative module/course
  • Inter-institutional collaboration module/course

These units may involve wet laboratory experiments, molecular analysis, and/or computational bioinformatics components. The initial I3Us will make use of existing genomic data, but ideally will be adaptable to incorporate new sequence data as they become available from the CGC.


Examples of starting points for I3U development*:

*These example laboratory experiences use a guided, rather than an open, inquiry approach.

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