Adapting Lab Courses for Virtual Learning on Benchling

A practical guide for instructors.

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Learning with Benchling Notebook and Molecular Biology

Benchling Notebook

For students

Benchling Notebook is an intuitive and cloud-based electronic lab notebook for students. They can record their experimental notes and data and centralize the resources they collect — from protocols and data tables to sequences and image files. Notebook entries can also be easily shared and edited between students, facilitating group learning and discussion.

For instructors

As an instructor, you can design laboratory modules through pre-populated Notebook templates. You may even insert a dataset for your students to analyze independently or collaboratively. Because Notebook entries are timestamped and on the cloud, you have complete transparency. You can review your students’ entries in real-time, or you can have students export entries as PDFs and submit them to you electronically.


Additional Notebook features include:

  • Customizable Notebook templates

  • PDF export of entries

  • @-mentioning of users, sequences, and entries

Benchling Molecular Biology

For students

Benchling Molecular Biology provides over 10 sequence design and analysis tools. Students can learn to design primers, model PCR and cloning in silico, score CRISPR guide RNAs, analyze sequence alignments, and more. In addition to these tools, any sequences students design and generate can be shared with their peers to review or edit.

For instructors

As an instructor, you’re providing students with a diverse toolset for design and analysis that scientists use every day – emulating an authentic scientific process. With advanced tools in Benchling, like CRISPR guide RNA design or codon optimization, you can integrate new concepts that extend student learning. Similar to the Notebook, you also have complete transparency and can give students feedback about their sequence designs. You can import sequences from external databases (NCBI, Addgene, Ensembl) or from an organism’s genome, making it easy to prepare content for course modules.


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