Optimization of the biochemical genetics laboratory rotation using a multidesign approach to curriculum

Published:December 09, 2022DOI:



      A biochemical genetics laboratory rotation is required for multiple genetics training programs. Traditionally, this rotation has been observational with experience being dependent upon cases released and availability of laboratory director(s), resulting in inconsistent learning opportunities. This curriculum was created to standardize the learning experience.


      The revised rotation provides multiple teaching modalities including small group didactic sessions (flipped classroom model), case-based sessions, and hands-on laboratory experience. Trainees prepare a presentation (learning by teaching) and discuss the differential diagnosis, metabolic pathway, newborn screening, treatment, and molecular characteristics of the gene(s) implicated. Learner assessment is performed using pre- and post-tests, learner evaluations, and instructor feedback.


      Pre- and post-test scores were significantly different (P < .001) for learners from all programs. Participants found the course to be effective, increased their learning, and allowed them to interact with metabolic testing results in helpful ways. Faculty appreciated the use of prerecorded lectures and additional time for in-depth teaching on interesting cases.


      The revised rotation has been well received by trainees and faculty. Interaction of learners with the laboratory staff was optimized by ensuring all parties were prepared to teach and learn. Future directions include expanding the program to include remote learners from other centers.

      Graphical abstract


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