1887

Efficacy of : an Internet Teaching Tool for Middle School Microbiology

    Authors: LESLIE M. MILLER1,*, JANETTE MORENO1, VICKY ESTRERA1, DAVID LANE2
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    Affiliations: 1: Center for Technology in Teaching and Learning and; 2: Department of Psychology, Rice University, Houston, Texas, 77005
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Center for Technology in Teaching and Learning, Rice University, 6100 Main Street, MS 120, Houston, TX 77005. Phone: 713-348-5352 E-mail: [email protected].
    • Copyright © 2004, American Society for Microbiology
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2004 vol. 5 no. 1 13-20. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v5.73
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    Abstract:

    Can web-based technology be used to effectively introduce or reinforce aspects of microbiology to middle school students? This central hypothesis examines whether brief exposure to a web adventure format containing virtual lab experiments and computer games within an engaging story line can impact student learning. An episodic adventure series, (http://medmyst.rice.edu), focuses on infectious diseases and the microbes that cause them. The website is not intended to replace classroom instruction, but rather to engage students in problem-solving activities not likely to be encountered elsewhere. It also provides scientists with a resource to introduce microbiology to adolescent audiences through outreach activities. In the online adventure, the player (student) enters a futuristic world in which he or she becomes a “Reconstructor,” a member of an elite team charged with preventing the spread of infectious disease. The series consists of three “missions,” each lasting approximately 30 to 40 minutes and designed to address a limited set of learning objectives. Middle school students participated in the creation of the characters and the stylized design through focus groups. Classroom teachers oversaw the alignment of the web adventure objectives with the National Science Content Standards. Scientists and clinicians reviewed the web adventure for content and accuracy. A field test involving over 700 students from nine different schools assessed the knowledge gains attributable to playing . Gain scores from pretest to posttest indicated that middle school students retained important information by interacting with the online material for as little as 30 minutes per adventure; however, gains for high school students were less persuasive, perhaps indicating a different learning tool or content is required for this age audience.

Key Concept Ranking

Infectious Diseases
0.5703689
Immune Systems
0.45596537
Immune System Diseases
0.4241547
0.5703689

References & Citations

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2. Annenberg Public Policy Center 26 June 2002 posting date Media in the home 2000: the fifth annual survey of parents and children [Online.] http://www.annenbergpublicpolicycenter.org/05_media_developing_child/mediasurvey/survey7.pdf
3. Bloom BS 1956 Taxonomy of educational objectives: the classification of educational goals, by a committee of college and university examiners D. McKay New York, N.Y
4. Brown JS, Collins A, Duguid S 1989 Situated cognition and the culture of learning Educ Res 18 1 32 42
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6. Center for Science, Mathematics, Engineering Education 1999 Designing mathematics or science curriculum programs: a guide for using mathematics and science education standards The Center for Education of the National Academies Washington, D.C
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12. Laurillard D 1998 Multimedia and the learner’s experience of narrative Computers Educ 31 229 242 10.1016/S0360-1315(98)00041-4 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0360-1315(98)00041-4
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15. Miller LM, Moreno J, Estrera V, Smith D, Mayes J 2003 Constructing web-based adventure games: a model that works 888 891 World Conference Proceedings on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education Norfolk, Va
16. Miller LM, Schweingruber H, Oliver R, Mayes J, Smith D 2002 Teaching neuroscience through web adventures: adolescents reconstruct the history and science of opioids Neuroscientist 8 16 22 10.1177/107385840200800106 11843095 http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/107385840200800106
17. Miller LM, Schweingruber H, Brandenburg CL 2001 Middle school students’ technology practices and preferences: re-examining gender differences JEduc Multimedia Hypermedia 10 125 140
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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v5.73
2004-05-01
2019-03-22

Abstract:

Can web-based technology be used to effectively introduce or reinforce aspects of microbiology to middle school students? This central hypothesis examines whether brief exposure to a web adventure format containing virtual lab experiments and computer games within an engaging story line can impact student learning. An episodic adventure series, (http://medmyst.rice.edu), focuses on infectious diseases and the microbes that cause them. The website is not intended to replace classroom instruction, but rather to engage students in problem-solving activities not likely to be encountered elsewhere. It also provides scientists with a resource to introduce microbiology to adolescent audiences through outreach activities. In the online adventure, the player (student) enters a futuristic world in which he or she becomes a “Reconstructor,” a member of an elite team charged with preventing the spread of infectious disease. The series consists of three “missions,” each lasting approximately 30 to 40 minutes and designed to address a limited set of learning objectives. Middle school students participated in the creation of the characters and the stylized design through focus groups. Classroom teachers oversaw the alignment of the web adventure objectives with the National Science Content Standards. Scientists and clinicians reviewed the web adventure for content and accuracy. A field test involving over 700 students from nine different schools assessed the knowledge gains attributable to playing . Gain scores from pretest to posttest indicated that middle school students retained important information by interacting with the online material for as little as 30 minutes per adventure; however, gains for high school students were less persuasive, perhaps indicating a different learning tool or content is required for this age audience.

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Figures

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FIG. 1

The underlying scenario for the series.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2004 vol. 5 no. 1 13-20. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v5.73
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Image of FIG. 2

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FIG. 2

An activity requiring students to sequence Koch’s postulates.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2004 vol. 5 no. 1 13-20. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v5.73
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Image of FIG. 3

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FIG. 3

An activity requiring students to sort bacteria according to shape.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2004 vol. 5 no. 1 13-20. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v5.73
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Image of FIG. 4

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FIG. 4

Example of the feedback provided to students.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2004 vol. 5 no. 1 13-20. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v5.73
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