Deadline: Mar. 31, 2020, 11:59 p.m. PT

A microbrew showcases a “brewing idea” in any of the subdisciplines in the biological sciences. Unlike other poster presentations at ASMCUE, assessment data are NOT required. The 2020 ASMCUE Planning Committee welcomes submissions for microbrews (i.e., “short, interactive talks” with a 10-minute interactive presentation and 5-minute Q&A).

The committee encourages presenters to share ideas and activities for the classroom and/or lab. Presenters can share or field test new ideas and solicit feedback from peers. Past microbrew presenters have indicated that soliciting feedback from attendees is the most valuable component of a microbrew.

Microbrews will take place July 10-11, 2020. Please note that all presenters are responsible for conference registration fees, travel, and hotel expenses.

Submit Your Proposal


Key Components

  • Activity description, engagement plan, timeline, and student learning goals
  • Context for activity and ASMCUE attendee learning outcomes 
  • Audience, keywords, and ASM Curriculum Guidelines core concepts
  • Identification of your microbrew track. Choose from: 
    • Allied Health
    • Cell Biology/immunology
    • Microbiology
    • Student skills: 
      • critical thinking
      • communication/writing
      • science literacy/primary literature
      • Learning/metacognition
    • Programmatic changes
    • Technology-assisted pedagogy (apps, websites, videos, etc.)


  • Microbrews may include one additional presenter.
  • “Attendee” refers to the ASMCUE session attendee, and “student” refers to individuals that attendees teach at their home institutions/organizations. 
  • Applicants can save progress on their application and return to complete it at a later time.

Review Criteria and Guidelines

Competitive proposals are well organized, present the idea or activity clearly, and demonstrate a plan to engage attendees. All submissions are reviewed by the ASMCUE Microbrew Review Committee according to the following criteria (see rubric):

  • Background, presentation timing, and relevance to attendees.
  • Attendee engagement and clear learning outcomes.
  • Innovation, originality, and alignment with ASM Curriculum Guidelines

The Committee reserves the right to contact authors for more information and to transfer submissions, if warranted, to another presentation format within the Conference program. For microbrew proposals, no re-submissions will be allowed.

View the Microbrew Review Rubric

Commercial products/services 

A proposal must discuss any commercial product or service, name the product, and disclose any potential conflicts of interest. Proposals that promote a specific commercial product or service for purchase will be recommended for the ASMCUE Exhibit and Sponsorship Program. 


The primary contact will receive a disposition by early May 2020.

Additional Microbrew Details

  • No technology support will be provided for presentations (no computer, projector, or sound equipment)
  • Presenters will have access to one flip chart in the room.
  • Virtual handouts, physical handouts, and/or props: Following acceptance, presenters will receive additional information about handouts for use during the presentation. Presenters will be responsible for printing and bringing physical handouts and/or props to the conference. Presenters may post virtual handouts in the Guidebook mobile app. 
  • NEW in 2020: demonstrations of computer or mobile device-based educational tools in microbrew sessions. Presenters are required to bring their own tech and/or provide information for attendees to access the resource with attendee’s own devices.

Past successful topics: 

  • In-class activities
  • Service learning ideas
  • Project ideas
  • Field activities
  • Laboratory activities
  • Discussion starters
  • Study tools 
  • Specific/novel component of a CURE
  • Assessment tools
  • Classroom management ideas


Using Exam Wrappers to Improve Student Performance
Tim Paustian, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI

'I didn't do well on the last exam, what can I do to improve?' We have all had these sessions with students and want to help, but what is the best way to guide their learning so that they can improve their exam performance? Exam wrappers can be used to help students develop their metacognitive skills and in so doing, raise their exam performance. The exam wrapper I will present in this microbrew contains two parts, a worksheet to analyze incorrect question answers and a quiz asking them about their study habits and challenges that interfere success. Students who want to meet must take the exam wrapper, which guides our subsequent discussion. I will discuss students most common errors and challenges, and how we create custom strategies to improve performance. I also present statistics on student performance on subsequent exams. My course uses multiple choice questions, but the exam wrapper presented could be used for any type of exam.

1.5 min: Describe the exam wrapper.
3 min: Break into groups to discuss student’s most common errors and challenges.
3 min: Describe the results of real student responses.
2.5 min: Present exam wrapper participants’ exam improvements.
5 min: Question and answer period.


Using Play 'Doh!' for Understanding
Kari Debbink, Bowie State University, Bowie, MD

Some microbiology concepts lend themselves well to making structural models or modeling processes. Play-Doh is a great tool to use in the classroom because it is inexpensive, easy to get, and it's inherently unintimidating to students. Students are tasked with creating a model of a structure or process out of Play-Doh that can be shared with peers and the instructor. By using Play-Doh to model course concepts, students are forced to think through the parts needed, steps of the process, and overall concept. Through preparing their model and their explanation, they often figure out and correct their own misunderstandings. It is also easy for a peer or the instructor to use the model to demonstrate the correct process in cases where it is incorrect or incomplete. In this Microbrew, participants will brainstorm microbiology concepts that could be supported using Play-Doh modeling, use Play-Doh to model one of the brainstormed concepts, and share their models with peers in the workshop.

2 min: Group brainstorm - concepts that can be modeled using Play-Doh.
7 min: Participants choose one of the brainstormed concepts that they think would work in their class and use Play-Doh to make a model as they would expect of their students.
1 min: Share model with a peer.