A collaborative, interactive approach to teaching metabolism

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Paper


An understanding of cellular metabolism is central to the biomedical sciences, but this subject has a reputation of being very dry and dull (ask any medic about their experience of biochemistry!). Historically, students were expected to memorise long metabolic pathways, without much understanding of their role or significance in the cell. Here I will present my interactive approach to teaching metabolism, encouraging students to get a deeper understanding of the subject through group discussions within the lecture. Students work through a worksheet in pairs or small groups, studying the pathway of glycolysis in detail and answering questions of increasing difficulty and depth. Clickers are then used to poll the answers, and a roving microphone used to get answers from individual groups. Peer collaboration within small groups allows students to explore the concepts together, and emboldens them to ask questions and propose ideas to the whole class. I have run this session for the past 3 years, both in the UK and in China, with class sizes of 100-250 students, and each time it resulted in a lively and engaged discussion. I found it to be a great way to breathe new life into an important subject with a bad reputation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventEnhancing Student Learning Through Innovative Scholarship - Sheffield, United Kingdom
Duration: 20 Jul 201721 Jul 2017


ConferenceEnhancing Student Learning Through Innovative Scholarship
Abbreviated titleESLTIS
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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