An introductory cell biology laboratory course was redesigned using two inquiry-based modules to align with the goals of scientific inquiry as described in Vision and Change. To evaluate the lab's efficacy, we used a broad range of materials, including pretests and posttests, online surveys, focus group interviews, and course evaluations. Although our students produced significant learning gains on technical laboratory skills, methods, and data analyses, during the first two years their affective dispositions toward the experience were more negative. By evaluating our class data in light of insights from the scholarship of teaching and learning, we were able to provide better guidance to students and subsequently to persist past this implementation dip, showing continued positive gains in student learning outcomes, and eliminating the negative impact on student affective outcomes. Our experience underscores the value of scientific teaching, using class data and evidence-based practices to persist beyond the implementation dips that come with adopting new curricula.