HAP-11303 Academic skills for Biologists


Credits 3.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper0
Course coordinator(s)dr. KJ Teerds
Lecturer(s)dr. KJ Teerds
dr. ir. MJ Ketelaar
SM Zijlstra MSc
LRG Minnaard
VL van Berlo MSc
Examiner(s)dr. KJ Teerds

Language of instruction:



Students get familiar with the information resources (libarary, internet sites and portals) in the field of biology, with specific emphasis on university library network resources of the field of biology. Students will practice communication skills by stepwise learning to prepare and present a poster and oral presentation about a biological subject. Students will practice reflection skills by writing a reflection paper. Students will be trained in different aspects of writing skills (e.g. writing an introduction to a scientific paper; writing a summary to a practical) and critical evaluation of the scientific literature. Finally, students learn how to give constructive peer-feedback.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- give a presentation (5-10) minutes) using supportive non-verbal behavior;
- prepare and show structure in a presentation and report;
- give feedback to and receive feedback from fellow students according to feedback guidelines;
- show responsibility for his/her own learning process by working on individually formulated learning goals;
- reflect on his/her own learning process with help of a reflection model;
- use information sources that can be accessed via the library network and to find, judge and manage information and knowledge efficiently and effectively;
- develop skills to formulate a coherent research question and an introduction to this research question;
- write a coherent summary of a practical from the course HAP20306 or CLB11803 that includes learning goals, background, methods, results, conclusion and recommendations.


- students get a theoretical introduction about giving a presentation;
- in addition, they give several short oral presentations in order to improve their presentation skills;
- after these presentations they should reflect on their own performance, but also critically observe the presentation of their fellow students;
- lectures and tutorials on scientific writing;
- students get several assignments on scientific writing;
- during the course PEN-20503, which is followed in the first period in their first year, students get a lecture and ICT modules about the information resources;
- write an introduction to a research question;
- write a summary of a practical of another course;
- critically evaluate the scientific quality of an article using an evaluation protocol.


The course is evaluated based on two components:
- 2 written assignments, written article evaluation and exam information literacy (total 60%);
- 1 oral presentation and 1 reflection report (total 40%);
Each component needs a minimum mark of 5.5 to pass.


K. Knisley A study handbook for writing in biology, 5th edition (Sinauer); J van Emden and L Becker Presentation skills for students 3rd edition (Palgrave).

Compulsory for: BBIBiologyBSc1AF