“Meet the Expert Interviews,” an Integrative Learning Experience for Microbiology and Anatomy & Physiology Undergraduate Students †
An important goal of higher education is to encourage students to integrate learning and apply skills to different situations. In the “Meet the Expert Interviews” students interviewed authors of research papers on Shiga Toxin Producing E. coli (STEC) outbreaks. Students attended seminars, analyzed STEC publications, created questions, and interviewed authors. We hypothesized that the project would enhance student understanding of STEC and encourage students to integrate and apply information to real world problems.
The project was assessed by student surveys. The majority of 129 students surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that the seminar enhanced their understanding of E.coli transmission, diagnosis, and treatment; that the interview enhanced their understanding of epidemiology; and made them more aware of the steps involved in determining the cause of the outbreak. The project was engaging for students and faculty and provided a unique way for professional outreach to biology students. The project is an innovative example of an integrative method to enhance student learning and interaction with microbiology and epidemiology professionals.
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