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Building Excellence in Genetics Instruction (BEGIn) is a hybrid learning course designed to help faculty who teach genetics transform their lecture classes into student-centered learning environments. Online modules constitute Part I of a two-part program and are recommended for use in advance of a full-day, on-campus workshop that host institutions may arrange with ASHG. Part I includes much of the background and learning theory behind evidence-based teaching and is valuable by itself as a stand-alone program. The Part II workshop focuses on skill development and is taught in a "situated apprenticeship" style to allow faculty to practice the techniques of interactive college genetics instruction.

Part I (online modules): View on demand

Part II (workshop): All requests for Part II Workshops should be made directly to Dr. Michael Dougherty as an independent instructor. ASHG only supports Part I of the BEGIn program.
Dr. Dougherty can be reached at

Highlights of BEGIn Workshops:

  • Small classes: 16-20 participants (can include faculty from multiple institutions)
  • Highly interactive, situated apprenticeship format
  • Focus on assessment: formative and summative
  • Addresses your needs: your learning objectives, your assessment goals

Recent BEGIn Workshops

Broward College, Cold Spring Harbor, University of Massachusetts, Lowell

Workshop Evaluation Results (cumulative)

Q: How would you rate the workshop overall?

  • Excellent: 74%        
  • Very Good: 19%         
  • Good: 7%

Q: What was the most valuable part of the workshop?

  • interactive discussions and presentations
  • the chance to critique one another’s teaching; peer discussion
  • collegial atmosphere, interactive format, and hands-on practice
  • great course director; facilitated by a scientist
  • learning to prepare assessment questions based on learning objectives
  • practicing interactive teaching techniques to make lectures more student-centered
  • learning to probe for misconceptions
  • seeing how good teaching is done

We are continually refining the workshop to address your needs!

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