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Virtual Lab Demonstrations Improve Students’ Mastery of Basic Biology Laboratory Techniques

    Authors: Grace A. Maldarelli1, Erica M. Hartmann1,†, Patrick J. Cummings2, Robert D. Horner1, Kristina. M. Obom2,*, Richard Shingles1,3, Rebecca S. Pearlman1
    VIEW AFFILIATIONS HIDE AFFILIATIONS
    Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology; 2: Advanced Biotechnology Studies and; 3: Center for Educational Resources, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21218
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 17 May 2009
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: 9601 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, MD 20850. Phone: (301) 294-7159. Fax: (301) 315-2886. E-mail: kobom@jhu.edu.
    • Present address: The Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University, P.O. Box 875001, Tempe, AZ 85287-5001.
    • Copyright © 2009, American Society for Microbiology.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2009 vol. 10 no. 1 51-57. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v10.99
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    Abstract:

    Biology laboratory classes are designed to teach concepts and techniques through experiential learning. Students who have never performed a technique must be guided through the process, which is often difficult to standardize across multiple lab sections. Visual demonstration of laboratory procedures is a key element in teaching pedagogy. The main goals of the study were to create videos explaining and demonstrating a variety of lab techniques that would serve as teaching tools for undergraduate and graduate lab courses and to assess the impact of these videos on student learning. Demonstrations of individual laboratory procedures were videotaped and then edited with iMovie. Narration for the videos was edited with Audacity. Undergraduate students were surveyed anonymously prior to and following screening to assess the impact of the videos on student lab performance by completion of two Participant Perception Indicator surveys. A total of 203 and 171 students completed the pre- and posttesting surveys, respectively. Statistical analyses were performed to compare student perceptions of knowledge of, confidence in, and experience with the lab techniques before and after viewing the videos. Eleven demonstrations were recorded. Chi-square analysis revealed a significant increase in the number of students reporting increased knowledge of, confidence in, and experience with the lab techniques after viewing the videos. Incorporation of instructional videos as prelaboratory exercises has the potential to standardize techniques and to promote successful experimental outcomes.

Key Concept Ranking

Agarose Gel Electrophoresis
0.85784286
Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
0.5833333
0.85784286

References & Citations

1. Berger C, Kerner N, Lee Y1999Understanding student perceptions of collaboration, laboratory and inquiry use in introductory chemistryNational Association for Research in Science Teachinghttp://www-personal.umich.edu/~cberger/narst99folder/narst99.html.
2. Boyer Commission on Educating Undergraduates in the Research University1996Reinventing undergraduate education: a blueprint for America’s research universitieshttp://naples.cc.sunysb.edu/pres/boyer.nsf/673918d46fbf653e852565ec0056ff3e/d955b61ffddd590a852565ec005717ae/$FILE/boyer.pdf.
3. Committee on Undergraduate Biology Education to Prepare Research Scientists for the 21st Century, National Research Council2003BIO2010: transforming undergraduate education for future research biologistsNational Academy PressWashington, DC
4. Dickey JL, Cummings J, Haag M, McBain L, Glider W2000Effective methods of training biology laboratory teaching assistants II: preparing TAs to be effective in the laboratoryTested Stud for Lab Teach22295309http://www.ableweb.org/volumes/vol-22/17-dickey.et.al.pdf.
5. Handelsman J2003Teaching scientists to teachHHMI Bull1631http://www.hhmi.org/bulletin/pdf/june2003/Perspective.pdf.
6. Handelsman J, Ebert-May D, Beichner R, Bruns P, Chang A, DeHaan R, Gentile J, Lauffer S, Stewart J, Tilghman S, Wood W2004Scientific teachingScience34052152210.1126/science.1096022 http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1096022
7. Howard Hughes Medical Institute2005Beyond biology 101: the transformation of undergraduate biology educationhttp://www.hhmi.org/BeyondBio101/ucsd.htm.
8. Leonard W1992A comparison of student performance following instruction by interactive videodisc versus conventional laboratoryJ Res Sci Teach2919310210.1002/tea.3660290109 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/tea.3660290109
9. Likert R1932A technique for measurement of attitudesArchives Psychol140155
10. Shingles R, Feist T, Brosnan R2005The biomes of Homewood: interactive map softwareBioscene3131724
11. Stuckey-Mickell TA, Stuckey-Danner BD2007Virtual labs in the online Biology course: student perceptions of effectiveness and usabilityMERLOT J Online Learn Teach3105111http://jolt.merlot.org/vol3no2/stuckey.pdf.
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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v10.99
2009-05-17
2017-11-20

Abstract:

Biology laboratory classes are designed to teach concepts and techniques through experiential learning. Students who have never performed a technique must be guided through the process, which is often difficult to standardize across multiple lab sections. Visual demonstration of laboratory procedures is a key element in teaching pedagogy. The main goals of the study were to create videos explaining and demonstrating a variety of lab techniques that would serve as teaching tools for undergraduate and graduate lab courses and to assess the impact of these videos on student learning. Demonstrations of individual laboratory procedures were videotaped and then edited with iMovie. Narration for the videos was edited with Audacity. Undergraduate students were surveyed anonymously prior to and following screening to assess the impact of the videos on student lab performance by completion of two Participant Perception Indicator surveys. A total of 203 and 171 students completed the pre- and posttesting surveys, respectively. Statistical analyses were performed to compare student perceptions of knowledge of, confidence in, and experience with the lab techniques before and after viewing the videos. Eleven demonstrations were recorded. Chi-square analysis revealed a significant increase in the number of students reporting increased knowledge of, confidence in, and experience with the lab techniques after viewing the videos. Incorporation of instructional videos as prelaboratory exercises has the potential to standardize techniques and to promote successful experimental outcomes.

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Figures

Image of FIG. 1

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FIG. 1

Sample PPI survey question. Students were asked to rank their knowledge of, experience with, and confidence in their ability to carry out a particular technique using a Likert scale, with one as the lowest rank and five as the highest.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2009 vol. 10 no. 1 51-57. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v10.99
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Image of FIG. 2

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FIG. 2

Student-reported levels of knowledge (A), experience (B), and confidence (C) regarding the purpose of an agarose gel (PPI survey question 10). The first PPI survey was administered before students had seen the agarose gel videos or performed the technique in lab. The second PPI survey was administered at the end of the semester, after the students had seen the videos but before they had performed the technique in lab. The data are expressed as percentages to account for the different number of responses to each PPI survey.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2009 vol. 10 no. 1 51-57. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v10.99
Download as Powerpoint

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