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Brewing for Students: An Inquiry-Based Microbiology Lab

    Authors: Brian K. Sato1,*, Usman Alam1, Samantha J. Dacanay1, Amanda K. Lee1, Justin F. Shaffer2
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    Affiliations: 1: Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697; 2: Department of Developmental and Cell Biology, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Supplemental materials available at http://jmbe.asm.org
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Department of Bio-chemistry and Molecular Biology, 2238 McGaugh Hall MC3900, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697. Phone: 949-824-0661. E-mail: [email protected].
    • ©2015 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2015 vol. 16 no. 2 223-229. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v16i2.914
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    Abstract:

    In an effort to improve and assess student learning, there has been a push to increase the incorporation of discovery-driven modules and those that contain real-world relevance into laboratory curricula. To further this effort, we have developed, implemented, and assessed an undergraduate microbiology laboratory experiment that requires students to use the scientific method while brewing beer. The experiment allows students to brew their own beer and characterize it based on taste, alcohol content, calorie content, pH, and standard reference method. In addition, we assessed whether students were capable of achieving the module learning objectives through a pre-/posttest, student self-evaluation, exam-embedded questions, and an associated worksheet. These objectives included describing the role of the brewing ingredients and predicting how altering the ingredients would affect the characteristics of the beer, amongst others. By completing this experimental module, students accomplished the module objectives, had greater interest in brewing, and were more likely to view beer in scientific terms. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education

References & Citations

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2015-12-01
2019-03-26

Abstract:

In an effort to improve and assess student learning, there has been a push to increase the incorporation of discovery-driven modules and those that contain real-world relevance into laboratory curricula. To further this effort, we have developed, implemented, and assessed an undergraduate microbiology laboratory experiment that requires students to use the scientific method while brewing beer. The experiment allows students to brew their own beer and characterize it based on taste, alcohol content, calorie content, pH, and standard reference method. In addition, we assessed whether students were capable of achieving the module learning objectives through a pre-/posttest, student self-evaluation, exam-embedded questions, and an associated worksheet. These objectives included describing the role of the brewing ingredients and predicting how altering the ingredients would affect the characteristics of the beer, amongst others. By completing this experimental module, students accomplished the module objectives, had greater interest in brewing, and were more likely to view beer in scientific terms. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education

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FIGURE 1

Sample brews from student groups. These beers were made using (A) extra light, (B) amber, and (C) extra dark malt extract following the protocol outlined in the methods.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2015 vol. 16 no. 2 223-229. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v16i2.914
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FIGURE 2

Students achieved the module learning objectives through a variety of assessments. (A) A 14-question pre-/posttest was administered before and after the beer module in laboratory sections ( 93 students). Each question (Q) was related to the indicated learning objective (LO; shown below each question). Post-test gains are statistically significant ( 0.0001) for each question by -test. (B) Students noted their agreement with the following statements after completion of the module on a five-point Likert scale (5 = strongly agree, 1 = strongly disagree). At that time, they were also asked to note their agreement prior to the start of the module. Post-test gains are statistically significant ( 0.0001) by chi-square test. Questions were asked using the iClicker system during lecture ( 86 students). (C) Student performance on three module-related questions on the final course exam are indicated (Q1–3, 95 students). For comparison, performance on the same exam for other questions of similar Bloom’s levels (levels 2 (comprehension) and 3 (application)), as well as overall performance on the final exam, are indicated. Performance on Q1 and Q3 is significantly higher compared with the other Bloom’s level 2 and 3 questions and compared with the overall exam performance ( 0.0001) by -test. Error bars indicate the standard error of the mean for all figures.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2015 vol. 16 no. 2 223-229. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v16i2.914
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