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Bacteriophage: A Model System for Active Learning

    Authors: CARL S. LUCIANO*, MATTHEW W. YOUNG1, ROBIN R. PATTERSON2
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    Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, Pennsylvania 15705 and; 2: Butler County Community College, Butler, Pennsylvania 16001
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Department of Biology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana PA, 15705. Phone: (724) 357-2427. E-mail: [email protected].
    • Copyright © 2002, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2002 vol. 3 no. 1 1-6. doi:10.1128/154288102X14285807591144
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    Abstract:

    Although bacteriophage provided a useful model system for the development of molecular biology, its simplicity, accessibility, and familiarity have not been fully exploited in the classroom. We describe a student-centered laboratory course in which student teams selected phage from sewage samples and characterized the phage in a semester-long project that modeled real-life scientific research. The course used an instructional approach that included active learning, collaboration, and learning by inquiry. Cooperative student teams had primary responsibility for organizing the content of the course, writing to learn using a journal article format, involving the entire group in shared laboratory responsibilities, and applying knowledge to the choice of new experiments. The results of student evaluations indicated a high level of satisfaction with the course. Our positive experience with this course suggests that phage provides an attractive model system for an active-learning classroom.

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References & Citations

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2. Adams M 1959 Methods of study of bacterial viruses 443 523 Hotchkiss R, Bruce N Bacteriophages Interscience Publishers, Inc. New York, N.Y.
3. Biological Sciences Curriculum Study 1999 Biological perspectives: a resource manual for an active, collaborative, and inquiry-based curriculum Kendall-Hunt Publishing Co. Dubuque, Iowa
4. Cairns J, Stent GS, Watson JD 1992 Phage and the origins of molecular biology expanded edition Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.
5. Cappucino J, Sherman N 2001 Microbiology: a laboratory manual 237 242 Benjamin Cummings San Francisco, Calif.
6. Carlson K, Miller E 1994 Working with T4 421 437 Karam J Molecular biology of bacteriophage T4 ASM Press Washington, D.C.
7. Clough M, Clark R 1994 Cookbooks and constructivism: a better approach to laboratory activities Sci Teacher 61 34 37
8. Eisen JA, Bonwell C 1993 Recent works on using active learning strategies across the disciplines ERIC Document Services ED364135.
9. Fischer E, Lipson C 1988 The atom of biology 105 130 Thinking about science: Max Delbruck and the origins of molecular biology W. W. Norton and Co. New York, N.Y.
10. Gallagher J 1993 Secondary science teachers and constructivist practice 181 191 Tobin K The practice of constructivism in science education Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Hillsdale, N.J.
11. Goldstein G 1992 Introductory experiments in virology 27 33 William C. Brown Publishers Dubuque, Iowa
12. Johnson D, Johnson R, Smith K 1991 Active learning: cooperation in the college classroom Interaction Book Co. Edina, Minn.
13. Levin RA 1993 Isolating multiple strains of Escherichia coli for coliphage isolation, phage-typing and mutant recovery Goldman C Tested studies for laboratory teaching, proceedings of the 15th Workshop/Conference of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education (ABLE) Association for Biology Laboratory Education Williamsport, Pa.
14. Linn M, Burbules N 1993 Construction of knowledge and group learning 91 119 Tobin K The practice of constructivism in science education Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Hillsdale, N.J.
15. Okebukola P 1986 Cooperative learning and students’ attitudes to laboratory work School Sci Math 86 582 590 10.1111/j.1949-8594.1986.tb11659.x http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1949-8594.1986.tb11659.x
16. Russell T 1993 Learning to teach science: constructivism, reflection, and learning from experience 248 258 Tobin K The practice of constructivism in science education Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Hillsdale, N.J.
17. Sambrook J, Fritsch E, Maniatis T 1989 Molecular cloning: a laboratory manual 2nd ed Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.
18. Slavin R 1987 Cooperative learning: student teams 2nd ed National Education Association Washington, D.C.
19. Snustad D, Dean D 1970 Genetics experiments with bacterial viruses W. H. Freeman and Co San Francisco, Calif
20. Watson S 1992 The essential elements of cooperative learning Am Biol Teacher 54 84 86 10.2307/4449413 http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/4449413
21. Yager R 1991 The constructivist learning model Sci Teacher 58 52 57

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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/154288102X14285807591144
2002-05-01
2019-01-20

Abstract:

Although bacteriophage provided a useful model system for the development of molecular biology, its simplicity, accessibility, and familiarity have not been fully exploited in the classroom. We describe a student-centered laboratory course in which student teams selected phage from sewage samples and characterized the phage in a semester-long project that modeled real-life scientific research. The course used an instructional approach that included active learning, collaboration, and learning by inquiry. Cooperative student teams had primary responsibility for organizing the content of the course, writing to learn using a journal article format, involving the entire group in shared laboratory responsibilities, and applying knowledge to the choice of new experiments. The results of student evaluations indicated a high level of satisfaction with the course. Our positive experience with this course suggests that phage provides an attractive model system for an active-learning classroom.

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