1887

Development of a Microbiology Course for Diverse Majors; Longitudinal Survey of the Use of Various Active, Problem-Based Learning Assignments

    Author: DIANA R. CUNDELL1,*
    VIEW AFFILIATIONS HIDE AFFILIATIONS
    Affiliations: 1: Philadelphia University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19144
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • *Corresponding Author. Mailing address: Philadelphia University, School House Lane and Henry Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19144-5497. Phone: (215) 951-2664. Fax: (215) 951-6812. E-mail: CundellD@philau.edu.
    • Copyright © 2002, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2002 vol. 3 no. 1 12-17. doi:10.1128/154288102X14285807622734
MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.
  • HTML
    49.27 Kb
  • XML
  • PDF
    36.66 Kb

    Abstract:

    Educators are increasingly being encouraged to use more active- and problem-based-learning techniques and assignments in the classroom to improve critical and analytical thinking skills. Active learning-based courses have been purported to be more time consuming than traditional lecture methods and for many instructors have therefore proven difficult to include in many one-semester science courses. To address this problem, a series of assignments was developed for use in a basic microbiology course involving sophomore-, junior-, and senior-level students from five different biology majors (environmental science, biology, biochemistry, premedicine, and physician assistant). Writing assignments included global, historical, and social themes for which a standardized grading format was established. Students also participated in a class debate in which the merits of the living microbial kingdoms were discussed, with only one kingdom being saved from an imaginary global catastrophe. Traditional lectures were facilitated by the use of a dedicated note packet developed by the instructor and specific for course content. Laboratories involved group analysis of mini-case history studies involving pathogenic microbes. Students’ perceptions of the subject were assessed using an exit questionnaire sent to 100 of the 174 students who had taken the course during the 5-year time period. The majority of the 64 students who responded were sophomores (78%), in keeping with the target audience, and their perception of the course’s challenge level was significantly higher (p < 0.03, 8.7) than their junior and senior counterparts (7.9). Students rated the most useful learning tools as case history studies (9.4) and the class debate (9.1), with the introduction of a dedicated microbiology links web page to the University website representing the sole component resulting in a statistically significant increase in students’ perceptions of the importance of the course (p < 0.03).

References & Citations

1. Barr RB, Tagg J1995From teaching to learning: a new paradigm for undergraduate educationChange27132610.1080/00091383.1995.10544672 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00091383.1995.10544672
2. Beck SJ, LeGrys VA1996Clinical laboratory education2nd ed.1747Kendall HuntDubuque, Iowa
3. Blunt MJ, Blizzard PJ1973Development and initial assessment of a teacher-learning programme in anatomyBr J Med Educ724425010.1111/j.1365-2923.1973.tb02241.x4771339 http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2923.1973.tb02241.x
4. Davis RH, Fry JP, Alexander LT1977The discussion method. Guides for the improvement of instruction in higher education, no. 6Michigan State UniversityEast Lansing, Mich.
5. Erskine CA, Tomkin A1963Evaluation of the effect of the group discussion method in a complex teaching programJ Med Educ3710361042
6. Goodwin L, Miller JE, Cheetham RD1991Teaching freshmen to think: does active learning work?BioScience4171972210.2307/1311767 http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1311767
7. Herreid CE1998Why isn’t cooperative learning used to teach science?BioScience4855355910.2307/1313317 http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1313317
8. Hoffman EA2001Successful application of active learning techniques to introductory microbiologyMicrobiol Educ2511
9. Lake DA2001Student performance and perceptions of a lecture-based course compared with the same course utilizing group discussionPhysical Therapy8189690211268154
10. McEnerney K1999Active learning and situational teaching: how to ACE a courseClin Lab Sci123542
154288102X14285807622734.citations
jmbe/3/1
content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/154288102X14285807622734
Loading

Citations loading...

Supplemental Material

No supplementary material available for this content.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/154288102X14285807622734
2002-05-01
2017-11-18

Abstract:

Educators are increasingly being encouraged to use more active- and problem-based-learning techniques and assignments in the classroom to improve critical and analytical thinking skills. Active learning-based courses have been purported to be more time consuming than traditional lecture methods and for many instructors have therefore proven difficult to include in many one-semester science courses. To address this problem, a series of assignments was developed for use in a basic microbiology course involving sophomore-, junior-, and senior-level students from five different biology majors (environmental science, biology, biochemistry, premedicine, and physician assistant). Writing assignments included global, historical, and social themes for which a standardized grading format was established. Students also participated in a class debate in which the merits of the living microbial kingdoms were discussed, with only one kingdom being saved from an imaginary global catastrophe. Traditional lectures were facilitated by the use of a dedicated note packet developed by the instructor and specific for course content. Laboratories involved group analysis of mini-case history studies involving pathogenic microbes. Students’ perceptions of the subject were assessed using an exit questionnaire sent to 100 of the 174 students who had taken the course during the 5-year time period. The majority of the 64 students who responded were sophomores (78%), in keeping with the target audience, and their perception of the course’s challenge level was significantly higher (p < 0.03, 8.7) than their junior and senior counterparts (7.9). Students rated the most useful learning tools as case history studies (9.4) and the class debate (9.1), with the introduction of a dedicated microbiology links web page to the University website representing the sole component resulting in a statistically significant increase in students’ perceptions of the importance of the course (p < 0.03).

Highlighted Text: Show | Hide
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

/deliver/fulltext/jmbe/3/1/jmbe-3-1-12.xml.a.html?itemId=/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/154288102X14285807622734&mimeType=html&fmt=ahah

Figures

Image of FIG. 1

Click to view

FIG. 1

Perception of importance and challenge of the Microbiology course over a 5-year period. Data represent means of students’ numerical ratings during the five time periods. Numbers of students surveyed were 10 from 1996–1997, 9 from 1998, 15 from 1999, 12 from 2000, and 18 from 2001. Analysis of the data, using SPSS version 10.1 for Windows, showed that none of the increases observed reached significance.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2002 vol. 3 no. 1 12-17. doi:10.1128/154288102X14285807622734
Download as Powerpoint
Image of FIG. 2

Click to view

FIG. 2

Effect of learning tools on perception of (A) importance and (B) challenge of the Microbiology course over a 5-year period. Data sets shown represent means of student responses obtained both before and after a particular learning tool was instituted. For writing assignments, before data were obtained from 19 students and after data from 45; case histories, before data were obtained from 12 students and after data from 52; class debate, before data were obtained from 23 students and after data from 41; and microbiology links, before data were obtained from 34 students and after data from 30. Analysis of the data, using SPSS version 10.1 for Windows, demonstrated that neither students’ perceptions of challenge or importance of the course were affected by writing assignments, case histories, or a class debate (p < 0.1). The introduction of the Microbiology links page on the professor’s University website did, however, significantly increase students’ perceptions of the importance (p < 0.03).

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2002 vol. 3 no. 1 12-17. doi:10.1128/154288102X14285807622734
Download as Powerpoint

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Please check the format of the address you have entered.
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error