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The Implementation of a New Method of Student Assessment in a Pathogenic Bacteriology Laboratory Course

    Author: M. F. HITE1,*
    VIEW AFFILIATIONS HIDE AFFILIATIONS
    Affiliations: 1: Biology Department, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina 28223
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: 9201 University City Blvd., Biology Department, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC 28223. Phone: (704) 687-3422. E-mail: mfhite@email.uncc.edu.
    • Copyright © 2001, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2001 vol. 2 no. 1 1-4. doi:10.1128/154288101X14285805753462
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    Abstract:

    A new case study method of assessment was developed to challenge advanced undergraduate biology majors interested in medical careers and allied health professions. This method is an alternative to traditional “unknown” identifications used in many microbiology laboratories. Students used various biochemical tests and selective media throughout the course to identify organisms cultured from their own bodies. In preparing a final assessment for the course, an assignment was developed to challenge the students to apply what they had learned in a medically relevant setting. Also of importance was the elimination of further biochemical testing by these students and prevention of contact with strict pathogens in this lab, due to budget and safety constraints, respectively. Each student was provided with a clinical specimen data record sheet and additional information about their “diseased patient”. Students used analytical skills and critical thinking, as well as knowledge gained throughout the semester, to logically deduce the causative agent of disease in the mock patients. Students were required to: (i) describe the steps in this logical deduction, (ii) provide a brief overview of the characteristics and virulence factors of the organism(s), (iii) investigate all disease(s) caused by the organism, (iv) describe symptomology of the patient in detail, and (v) investigate disease treatment and prevention methods. The final assignment involved library and Internet research and culminated in a written report, which further developed writing and communication skills. Detailed descriptions of and materials for this assignment are provided along with an overall evaluation of this method after implementation.

Key Concept Ranking

Escherichia coli
0.5964016
Biochemical Test
0.5390608
Toxic Shock Syndrome
0.5362097
Clostridium perfringens
0.4791667
0.5964016

References & Citations

1. Angelo TA, Cross KP1993Classroom assessment techniques A handbook for college teachers2nd ed.Jossey-Bass Publishers Inc.San Francisco, Calif.
2. Cornley K1998The use of case studies in an undergraduate biochemistry courseJ Chem Educ7547510.1021/ed075p475 http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ed075p475
3. Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation1996Shaping the future: new expectations for undergraduate education in science, mathematics, engineering, and technologyNational Science FoundationArlington, Va.
4. Gillian PH, Shapiro DS, Smiley ML1996Cases in medical microbiology and infectious diseases2nd edASM PressWashington D.C.
5. Tobias S, Raphael J1997The hidden curriculum part IPlenum PressNew York, N.Y.
6. White HB, Richlin L1996The learning issue matrixBiochemical Educ24414310.1016/0307-4412(95)00137-9 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0307-4412(95)00137-9
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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/154288101X14285805753462
2001-05-01
2017-09-20

Abstract:

A new case study method of assessment was developed to challenge advanced undergraduate biology majors interested in medical careers and allied health professions. This method is an alternative to traditional “unknown” identifications used in many microbiology laboratories. Students used various biochemical tests and selective media throughout the course to identify organisms cultured from their own bodies. In preparing a final assessment for the course, an assignment was developed to challenge the students to apply what they had learned in a medically relevant setting. Also of importance was the elimination of further biochemical testing by these students and prevention of contact with strict pathogens in this lab, due to budget and safety constraints, respectively. Each student was provided with a clinical specimen data record sheet and additional information about their “diseased patient”. Students used analytical skills and critical thinking, as well as knowledge gained throughout the semester, to logically deduce the causative agent of disease in the mock patients. Students were required to: (i) describe the steps in this logical deduction, (ii) provide a brief overview of the characteristics and virulence factors of the organism(s), (iii) investigate all disease(s) caused by the organism, (iv) describe symptomology of the patient in detail, and (v) investigate disease treatment and prevention methods. The final assignment involved library and Internet research and culminated in a written report, which further developed writing and communication skills. Detailed descriptions of and materials for this assignment are provided along with an overall evaluation of this method after implementation.

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