Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic by the Biochemistry Authentic Scientific Inquiry Lab (BASIL) CURE Consortium: Reflections and a Case Study on the Switch to Remote Learning
Campus shutdowns during the SARS-CoV2 pandemic posed unique challenges to faculty and students engaged in laboratory courses. Formerly hands-on experiments had to be quickly pivoted to emergency remote learning. While some resources existed prior to this period, many currently available online modules and/or simulations focus on a single technique. The Biochemistry Authentic Scientific Inquiry Lab (BASIL) curriculum has, for several years, provided a robust, linked, holistic inquiry experience that allows students to make connections between multiple techniques, both computational in nature as well as wet-lab based. As a Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE), this flexible, module-based curriculum allows students to generate original hypotheses based on analysis of proteins of unknown function. We have taught this curriculum as the upper-level laboratory course on our campuses and were obliged to transition to remote instruction at various points in the course sequence. We report on the experiences of faculty and students over the transition period in this course. Additionally, we report as a case study results of one of our campus’ ongoing discipline-based education research (DBER) on the BASIL curriculum prior to and during remote delivery.