The HeLa Documentary Film: An Engaging Writing and Culturally Relevant Assignment on Cell Division and Ethics for Nonscience Majors†
Historically black institutions play a pivotal role in educating the next generation of scientists and engineers as well as promoting scientific literacy among all of its students. Students would like to have more culturally relevant assignments that reflect their life experiences as it relates to course content. We used the HeLa documentary film, "The Way of All Flesh Film," as an effective teaching tool in the first survey course of general biology to supplement our discussion on the cell cycle and ethics in scientific studies. Over 90% of our students preferred this additional teaching method compared to a traditional lecture only. Furthermore, the exercise enhanced the students' writing, research, and critical thinking skills through the ethical implications of the film.
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