Saturday, March 4, 2017

Weekly Reflection for Week of February 27th- March 3rd

How did you do on your work?

Considering that this was the first week back to school following vacation, I did surprisingly well on the work! I guess getting to do the PCR lab was exciting enough to get me back into a working mode real quick. I did not get any results from this lab, (no bands appeared for my well on the agarose) but I still think it was successful because it helped me understand the process of PCR. In addition to running the experiment, we began the process of comparing our class results to those of other groups online. While the Chi-square tests we are doing bring me back to my Stats days last year, the other aspects of the online exercises were a little confusing to me. We closed out the week with a quiz on biotechnology, which was a good review of material I hadn't studied since before vacation.

What do you think you understand well?

I understand PCR pretty well, since we actually got to do it. I understand electrophoresis too (same reason). After taking the quiz, I think I also understand the other bio-technologies well, although I could benefit from using them. We probably don't have the resources for most of them, though.

Where do you think you can improve?

I think I could improve in my understanding of the significance of the Chi-square tests. I remember (for the most part) what the test is and why it is used from Statistics. However, I am not as clear on how the results in this particular case are significant and what we can glean from them.

What strategies will you use to improve?

I have only just begun the lab write-up on these tests, so it makes sense that I am still a little confused. I think I will gain a better understanding simply by continuing my work. As for other topics covered this week, I could solidify my understanding by studying more, asking questions, and looking to supplemental sources.

How does the work we are doing fit into the context/narrative of the course?

The work we did this week fits into the context of this course. In weeks past, we were introduced to certain techniques. Then, we learned about them in more detail. Next, we experienced them first hand, and finally, we were quizzed on them. This is how the course is taught, and I think it is very effective. As for the content of the course, the work fit into it because we learned about DNA, the information molecule of cells; it is only natural that after, we learn about how scientists can work with DNA and use its amazing abilities to their advantage. 

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