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Embedding academic and professional skills training with experimental-design chalk talks


Experimental design and chalkboard presentation skills training can be integrated into a core scientific-content graduate course to promote active learning and student engagement.

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Fig. 1: Integrating academic and professional skills training into a traditional content-based bioscience curriculum.
Fig. 2


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The authors thank Richard Gregory and Johannes Walter, who contributed to the conception and introduction of experimental-design chalk talks in this course; the many teaching faculty who worked with us to craft experimental-design chalk talk problems; the graduate teaching assistants who have graded presentations and contributed to the refinement of this exercise and rubric; and the HMS Curriculum Fellows Program. The authors are also grateful to Kate Harding for delivering the experimental-design chalk talk examples.

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All authors contributed to the design of the exercise and wrote the manuscript.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Ronald J. Heustis or Joseph J. Loparo.

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Supplementary Note 1 and links to Sample Videos 1 and 2

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Heustis, R.J., Venkatesh, M.J., Gutlerner, J.L. et al. Embedding academic and professional skills training with experimental-design chalk talks. Nat Biotechnol 37, 1523–1527 (2019).

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