To be honest, I took the class because it fulfilled my senior credits, capstone requirement, and elective course for my chemistry major. In the beginning of the semester, I thought this course would be an advanced biochemistry class with intense focus into neurochemical pathways. However, it turned out not to be the case. Instead of just throwing whole bunch neurotransmitters and the pathways to us, Dr. Mach taught the course in a much different way, a way that’s totally new to me.
Each week, we are required to read the “paper of the week” over the weekend, discuss the questions we have in class, and each of us gets to choose a specific topic to research on every Monday. On Wednesdays, we’d share the information we gather with the entire class including Dr. Mach. And on Fridays, the discussion leaders take over the class, host discussions on the topic of the paper and make connections between academic with the real world problems. After the discussions, we are required to write up a blog post online on our class blog. At first, I was not used to this discussion-based lecture style, but as the curse goes on, I realized the benefits of it. This type of teaching allows me to not only acquire the knowledge that normal lecture could provide, but also improve my research method, and ability to analyze scientific articles. Although blogging and creating a wiki were not the form of assignments I was used to (I’m not a blogging type of person as you have read), the fascinating topics really sparked my interest and making these assignments more than enjoyable.
The capstone course is an opportunity for us to demonstrate that we have achieved the goals for learning established by our undergraduate education. As a chemistry major student, this class allows me to apply what I have learned in the past 3 years to some of the most advanced researches. It also promotes the theme of Concordia’s core curriculum, “BREW”, Becoming Responsibly Engaged in the World. After all, although biochemistry is not my focus, I really enjoyed this class and hopefully I’ll be able to apply the skills I gained from this experience to BREW.