One key to student success in introductory and cell biology courses is a foundational knowledge of cellular respiration. This is a content area in which students often harbor misconceptions that make cellular respiration particularly challenging to teach. Conventional approaches presenting cellular respiration as a complex series of isolated steps creates a situation where students tend to memorize the steps but fail to appreciate the bigger picture of how cells transform and utilize energy. Instructors frequently struggle to find ways to motivate students and encourage deeper learning. The learning goals of this cellular respiration lesson are to understand energy transfer in a biological system, develop data analysis skills, practice hypothesis generation, and appreciate the importance of cellular respiration in everyday life. These goals are achieved by using a case study as the focal point. The case-based lesson is supported with student-centered instructional strategies, such as individual and group activity sheets, in-class group discussions and debate, and in-class clicker questions. This lesson has been implemented at two institutions in large enrollment introductory biology courses and in a smaller upper-division biochemistry course.
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