• This is an active learning-based class designed to expose students to primary research literature and will provide them with the necessary tools to effectively read and understand published research articles. Students will gain a deep understanding of the science behind techniques. They will also gain knowledge on steps of the research process, gain critical appraisal skills and learn how to effectively communicate complex principles: skills integral to success in both science-based and non-science careers.
  • Semester Offered: Fall
  • Credits: 3
  • Course URL: canvas


Genetic Analysis I & II 01:447:384-385  or  Genetics (447:380)

Course Syllabus

Fall 2024 Syllabus

What is this class like?

This class will teach students how to read, interpret and analyze research articles.  The class will follow an active learning format, where we will discuss seminal and recent research articles in depth: What was the scientific question or problem? What methods and strategies were used to address it? What were the findings and conclusions? What are the alternative interpretations and methods that could have been applied? What questions are remaining?

This class will expose students to a diverse selection of research literature, involving genetic and molecular analyses in model organisms such as mice, worms, flies and yeast. The class series will begin with a research article presented by the teacher. During the majority of the class series, students will be divided into groups of 4-5. Each group will be assigned one research article and be required to work together to a) interpret, b) analyze and c) present the article in the form of an oral presentation to the class. Students will be graded on their ability to perform each of these tasks and on active participation during presentations by other groups. All groups will also be required to complete and be graded on a written discussion summary assignment at the end of each article discussion. This summary assignment may take many forms, e.g., preparation of a graphical abstract, subway advert, or other creative forms of expression.

  • Learn to read, as well as critically and creatively analyze published research articles.
  • Learn the concepts and methods involved in genetic and molecular analyses.
  • Learn to think deeply about experimental strategies and scientific interpretations.
  • Learn to communicate advanced scientific concepts through oral presentations.

Satisfies Departmental Learning Goals

  • Use genetic information and ideas to critically analyze published research articles.
  •  Integrate the material from multiple courses and research.

Course URL


Exams, Assignments, and Grading Policy

There is no final exam.

Grades in this course are weighted according to the table below

Activity or assignment 

Grade (%) 

Group presentation: interpretation of article 


Group presentation: analysis of article 


Group presentation: presentation of article 


Discussion worksheet A 


Discussion worksheet B 


Discussion worksheet C 


Active participation 




Course Materials


Course Closed?

Please continue to monitor Web-Reg for openings.


Devanshi Jain, PhD


** All information is subject to change at the discretion of the course coordinator.