1887

Building and Breaking the Cell Wall in Four Acts: A Kinesthetic and Tactile Role-Playing Exercise for Teaching Beta-Lactam Antibiotic Mechanism of Action and Resistance

    Authors: John Popovich1, Michelle Stephens1,2,‡, Holly Celaya1,2,‡, Serena Suwarno1,2,‡, Shizuka Barclay1,2,‡, Emily Yee1,2,‡, David A. Dean2,3,‡, Megan Farris1,2,‡, Shelley E. Haydel1,2,4,*
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    Affiliations: 1: School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287; 2: Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287; 3: School of Molecular Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287; 4: Biodesign Institute Center for Immunotherapy, Vaccines and Virotherapy, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. January 2018 vol. 19 no. 1 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v19i1.1462
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    Abstract:

    “Building and breaking the cell wall” is designed to review the bacterial cell envelope, previously learned in lower-division biology classes, while introducing new topics such as antibiotics and bacterial antibiotic resistance mechanisms. We developed a kinesthetic and tactile modeling activity where students act as cellular components and construct the cell wall. In the first two acts, students model a portion of the gram-positive bacterial cell envelope and then demonstrate in detail how the peptidoglycan is formed. Act III involves student demonstration of the addition of β-lactam antibiotics to the environment and how they inhibit the formation of peptidoglycan, thereby preventing bacterial replication. Using as a model for gram-positive bacteria, students finish the activity (Act IV) by acting out how often becomes resistant to β-lactam antibiotics. A high level of student engagement was observed, and the activity received positive feedback. In an assessment administered prior to and two months after the activity, significant improvements in scores were observed ( < 0.0001), demonstrating increased understanding and retention. This activity allows students to (i) visualize, role play, and kinesthetically “build” the cell envelope and form the peptidoglycan layer, (ii) understand the mechanism of action for β-lactam antibiotics, as well as how gene acquisition and protein changes result in resistance, and (iii) work cooperatively and actively to promote long-term retention of the subject material.

References & Citations

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2. Haydel SE, Stout V2015A kinesthetic modeling activity to teach PCR fundamentalsCourseSource2doi.org/10.24918/cs.2015.810.24918/cs.2015.8 http://dx.doi.org/10.24918/cs.2015.8
3. Hoffman EA2001Successful application of active learning techniques to introductory microbiologyMicrobiol Educ251110.1128/154288101X14285805983179236535383633112 http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/154288101X14285805983179
4. Knight JK, Wood WB2005Teaching more by lecturing lessCell Biol Educ429831010.1187/05-06-0082163412571305892 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/05-06-0082
5. McClean P, Johnson C, Rogers R, Daniels L, Reber J, Slator BM, Terpstra J, White A2005Molecular and cellular biology animations: development and impact on student learningCell Biol Educ416917910.1187/cbe.04-07-0047159178751103718 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.04-07-0047
6. McDonald KK, Gnagy SR2015Lights, camera, acting transport! Using role-play to teach membrane transportCourseSource2doi.org/10.24918/cs.2015.1210.24918/cs.2015.12 http://dx.doi.org/10.24918/cs.2015.12
7. Brindley JE, Walti C, Blaschke LM2009Creating effective collaborative learning groups in an online environmentIntl Rev Res Open Dist Learn103http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/675/1271
8. Coffield F, Moseley D, Hall E, Ecclestone K2004Learning styles and pedagogy in post 16 learning: a systematic and critical reviewLearning and Skills Research CentreLondonhttp://hdl.voced.edu.au/10707/69027
9. Riener C, Willingham D2010The myth of learning stylesChange Mag Higher Learn42323510.1080/00091383.2010.503139 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00091383.2010.503139
10. Elliott SL2010Efficacy of role play in concert with lecture to enhance student learning of immunologyJ Microbiol Biol Educ1111311810.1128/jmbe.v11i2.211236537093577173 http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v11i2.211
11. Geiser JR2011Early embryonic development role-playing in a large introductory biology lectureJ Microbiol Biol Educ1220220310.1128/jmbe.v12i2.315236537663577264 http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v12i2.315
12. Sturges D, Maurer TW, Cole O2009Understanding protein synthesis: a role-play approach in large undergraduate human anatomy and physiology classesAdv Physiol Educ3310311010.1152/advan.00004.200919509395 http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/advan.00004.2009
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2018-01-26
2018-02-20

Abstract:

“Building and breaking the cell wall” is designed to review the bacterial cell envelope, previously learned in lower-division biology classes, while introducing new topics such as antibiotics and bacterial antibiotic resistance mechanisms. We developed a kinesthetic and tactile modeling activity where students act as cellular components and construct the cell wall. In the first two acts, students model a portion of the gram-positive bacterial cell envelope and then demonstrate in detail how the peptidoglycan is formed. Act III involves student demonstration of the addition of β-lactam antibiotics to the environment and how they inhibit the formation of peptidoglycan, thereby preventing bacterial replication. Using as a model for gram-positive bacteria, students finish the activity (Act IV) by acting out how often becomes resistant to β-lactam antibiotics. A high level of student engagement was observed, and the activity received positive feedback. In an assessment administered prior to and two months after the activity, significant improvements in scores were observed ( < 0.0001), demonstrating increased understanding and retention. This activity allows students to (i) visualize, role play, and kinesthetically “build” the cell envelope and form the peptidoglycan layer, (ii) understand the mechanism of action for β-lactam antibiotics, as well as how gene acquisition and protein changes result in resistance, and (iii) work cooperatively and actively to promote long-term retention of the subject material.

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FIGURE 1

Student satisfaction survey responses. Twenty-seven participating students rated their satisfaction of the activity and their self-reflected learning gains. Chi-squared analysis of grouped positive (strongly agree and agree) and grouped negative (neutral, disagree, and strongly disagree) responses revealed significant ( = 0.0091) satisfaction and perceived learning gains associated with the activity. For the complete survey questions, see Appendix 8 .

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. January 2018 vol. 19 no. 1 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v19i1.1462
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Image of FIGURE 2

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FIGURE 2

Comparison of the pre-assessment (PRE) and post-assessment (POST) quiz scores, (A) separated by semester and (B) combined. Students were administered a quiz in a pre-/post-activity manner, with the average (±SEM) scores for each semester displayed. POST indicates that the post-assessment quiz scores from the student co-authors were eliminated from the data analysis. **** < 0.0001; two-way ANOVA, Fisher’s LSD test.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. January 2018 vol. 19 no. 1 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v19i1.1462
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FIGURE 3

Comparisons of individual questions in the pre- and post-assessments in (A) fall 2015, (B) fall 2016, (C) fall 2017, and (D) combined fall 2015, 2016, and 2017 semesters. Students were administered a quiz in a pre-/post-activity manner, with the average (±SEM) percentage for each question displayed. POST indicates that the post-assessments from the student co-authors were eliminated from the data analysis. * < 0.05, ** < 0.01, *** < 0.001 **** < 0.0001; two-way ANOVA, Fisher’s LSD test.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. January 2018 vol. 19 no. 1 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v19i1.1462
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