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General Public




Building Excellence in Genetics Instruction Workshop


  • Decrease lecture; increase student-centered instruction

  • Improve student learning by two letter grades

  • "Scientific teaching" - Learn to teach using evidence-based principles

  • "Situated apprenticeship" model - Learn by doing, not listening


Background Sample Agenda Evaluation Results





Recent BEGIn Workshops


Latest BEGIn workshop was held at Cold Spring Harbor.
ASHG held a BEGIn Workshop at University of Massachusetts Lowell.
ASHG conducted its first BEGIn Workshop “on the road”, at Black Hills State University.





We received great feedback from geneticists who attended the Geneticist-Educator Network of Alliances (GENA) workshops, which ASHG conducted for three years as part of an NSF Math-Science Partnership grant (EHR 0634296). Most GENA geneticists reported being able to apply what they learned from teaching high school students to their own undergraduate/graduate teaching. They also became more confident about making presentations to non-scientific audiences. As the NSF funding for the GENA project has ended, ASHG is now offering a similar workshop targeted at training geneticists to be better teachers.


Unlike the GENA workshops, which hosted geneticist-high school teacher pairs, the BEGIn workshop focuses on geneticists only, allowing greater attention to issues of undergraduate biology/genetics. The goal of the workshop is to provide scientists with the knowledge and skills to improve their own teaching in genetics.



Highlights of BEGIn:


  • Small classes: 16-20 participants


  • Teaches principles of learning: misconceptions, inquiry, learning cycles, novice/expert differences


  • Focus on assessment: formative and summative


  • Focused on you: your learning objectives, your assessment goals

Workshop Evaluation Results (cumulative)


Q: How would you rate the workshop overall?

  Excellent: 72%          Very Good: 20%          Good: 8%

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 concerns!




The American Society of Human Genetics, Incorporated

9650 Rockville Pike Bethesda, Maryland 20814 1-866-HUM-GENE (301) 634-7300

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