1887

Using ASM Podcasts to Excite Undergraduate Students about Current Microbiological Research

    Author: Stacey E. Lettini1
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    Affiliations: 1: Gwynedd Mercy University, Gwynedd Valley, PA 19053
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 15 December 2014
    • Supplemental materials available at http://jmbe.asm.org
    • Corresponding author. Mailing address: Gwynedd Mercy University, 1325 Sumneytown Pike, PO Box 401, Gwynedd Valley, PA 19053. Phone: 215-646-7300, ext. 126. Fax: 215-542-4604. E-mail: Lettini.s@gmercyu.edu.
    • ©2014 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2014 vol. 15 no. 2 330-331. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v15i2.796
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    Abstract:

    Innovative technology is often used as a mechanism to engage students in and out of the classroom and can be used to increase critical thinking skills. Podcasts are an excellent way to introduce students to current topics and research in microbiology. The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) produces three podcasts that are microbiologically focused: This Week in Microbiology (TWiM), This Week in Parasitology (TWiP), and This Week in Virology (TWiV). These podcasts are usually presented in a manner similar to a journal club, as the presenters regularly invite guests to discuss current research papers. Since students often find reading scientific literature difficult and get bogged down in the details rather than seeing the over-arching purpose of a paper, these podcasts have been used in a General Microbiology course to introduce recent research articles. The students were first assigned an original research article to read and review, and they were asked to generate questions pertaining to things they did not understand. Next, students listened to the corresponding podcast that discussed the article and used it to answer their questions. This was followed by a classroom discussion of the article and the podcast. The ASM podcast helped to demystify original research by providing details of the experimental design and presentation of the results in a language that is more casual and relatable. Students demonstrated greater critical thinking and comprehension of microbiology literature after listening to the podcast. This activity can be used in a variety of courses in the biology curriculum.

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References & Citations

1. Carson S, Miller ES 2013 Introducing primary scientific literature to first-year undergraduate researchers CURQ Web 34 17 22
2. Copley J 2007 Audio and video podcasts of lectures for campus-based students: production and evaluation of student use Innov Educ Teach Int 44 387 389 10.1080/14703290701602805 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14703290701602805
3. Evans C 2008 The effectiveness of m-learning in the form of podcast revision lectures in higher education Comp Educ 50 491 498 10.1016/j.compedu.2007.09.016 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2007.09.016
4. Gillen CM, Vaughan J, Lye BR 2004 An online tutorial for helping nonscience majors read primary research literature in biology Adv Physiol Educ 28 95 99 [Online.] 10.1152/advan.00044.2003 15319189 http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/advan.00044.2003
5. Gottesman AJ, Hoskins SG 2013 CREATE cornerstone: introduction to scientific thinking, a new course for STEM-interested freshman demystifies scientific thinking through analysis of scientific literature CBE Life Sci Educ 12 59 72 10.1187/cbe.12-11-0201 23463229 3587857 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.12-11-0201
6. Hew KF 2009 Use of audio podcast in K–12 and higher education: a review of research topics and methodologies Educ Tech Res Dev 57 333 337 [Online.] 10.1007/s11423-008-9108-3 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11423-008-9108-3
7. Hoskins SG, Lopatto D, Stevens LM 2011 The C.R.E.A.T.E. approach to primary literature shifts undergraduates and self-assessed ability to read and analyze journal articles, attitudes about science, and epistemological beliefs CBE Life Sci Educ 10 368 378 10.1187/cbe.11-03-0027 22135371 3228655 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.11-03-0027
8. Lee MJW, McLoughlin C, Chan A 2008 Talk the talk: learner-generated podcasts as catalysts for knowledge creation Brit J Educ Technol 39 501 521 [Online.] 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2007.00746.x http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8535.2007.00746.x
9. Round JE, Campbell AM 2013 Figure facts: encouraging undergraduates to take a data-centered approach to reading primary literature CBE Life Sci Educ 12 39 46 10.1187/cbe.11-07-0057 23463227 3587854 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.11-07-0057
10. Scutter S, Stupans I, Saywer T, King S 2010 How do students use podcasts to support learning? Australas J Educ Tec 26 180 191
11. Segura-Totten M, Dalman NE 2013 The CREATE method does not result in greater gains in critical thinking than a more traditional method of analyzing the primary literature J Microbiol Biol Educ 14 166 175 [Online.] 10.1128/jmbe.v14i2.506 24358379 3867753 http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v14i2.506
12. Tanopir C, Pollard R, Wang P, Greene D, Kline E, Krummen J 2003 Undergraduate science students and electronic scholarly journals. P. Am. Soc. Inform. Sci. & Tech. 40 291 297 10.1002/meet.1450400136 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/meet.1450400136
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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v15i2.796
2014-12-15
2017-09-23

Abstract:

Innovative technology is often used as a mechanism to engage students in and out of the classroom and can be used to increase critical thinking skills. Podcasts are an excellent way to introduce students to current topics and research in microbiology. The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) produces three podcasts that are microbiologically focused: This Week in Microbiology (TWiM), This Week in Parasitology (TWiP), and This Week in Virology (TWiV). These podcasts are usually presented in a manner similar to a journal club, as the presenters regularly invite guests to discuss current research papers. Since students often find reading scientific literature difficult and get bogged down in the details rather than seeing the over-arching purpose of a paper, these podcasts have been used in a General Microbiology course to introduce recent research articles. The students were first assigned an original research article to read and review, and they were asked to generate questions pertaining to things they did not understand. Next, students listened to the corresponding podcast that discussed the article and used it to answer their questions. This was followed by a classroom discussion of the article and the podcast. The ASM podcast helped to demystify original research by providing details of the experimental design and presentation of the results in a language that is more casual and relatable. Students demonstrated greater critical thinking and comprehension of microbiology literature after listening to the podcast. This activity can be used in a variety of courses in the biology curriculum.

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