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Role-Playing Activity to Demonstrate Diffusion Across a Cell Membrane

    Author: Elizabeth Harrison1
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    Affiliations: 1: Georgia Gwinnett College, School of Science and Technology, Lawrenceville, GA 30043
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Received 14 January 2018 Accepted 27 June 2018 Published 31 August 2018
    • ©2018 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    • [open-access] This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ and https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode), which grants the public the nonexclusive right to copy, distribute, or display the published work.

    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Georgia Gwinnett College, School of Science and Technology, 1000 University Center Lane, Lawrenceville, GA 30043. Phone: 404-450-8111. Fax: 678-407-5938. E-mail: [email protected].
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. August 2018 vol. 19 no. 2 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v19i2.1576
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    Abstract:

    Transport of molecules across the cell plasma membrane can be a difficult concept for introductory biology students to understand and visualize. Role-playing activities provide a simple, cost-effective method for enhancing student understanding of various challenging biological concepts. This cell membrane role-playing activity was designed to teach introductory biology students how small nonpolar and polar molecules cross the cell membrane as well as the importance of diffusion, osmosis, and tonicity.

References & Citations

1. Fisher KM, Williams KS, Lineback JE 2011 Osmosis and diffusion conceptual assessment CBE Life Sci Educ 10 418 429 10.1187/cbe.11-04-0038 22135375 3228659 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.11-04-0038
2. Cherif AH, Somervill CH 1995 Maximizing learning: using role playing in the classroom Am Biol Teach 57 28 33 10.2307/4449909 http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/4449909
3. Chinnici JP, Yue JW, Torres KM 2004 Students as “human chromosomes” in role playing mitosis and meiosis Am Biol Teach 66 35 39
4. Geiser JR 2011 Early embryonic development role-playing in a large introductory biology lecture J Microbiol Biol Educ 12 202 203 10.1128/jmbe.v12i2.315 23653766 3577264 http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v12i2.315
5. Elliott SL 2010 Efficacy of role play in concert with lecture to enhance student learning of immunology J Microbiol Biol Educ 11 113 118 10.1128/jmbe.v11i2.211 23653709 3577173 http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v11i2.211

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2018-08-31
2019-08-22

Abstract:

Transport of molecules across the cell plasma membrane can be a difficult concept for introductory biology students to understand and visualize. Role-playing activities provide a simple, cost-effective method for enhancing student understanding of various challenging biological concepts. This cell membrane role-playing activity was designed to teach introductory biology students how small nonpolar and polar molecules cross the cell membrane as well as the importance of diffusion, osmosis, and tonicity.

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Figures

Image of FIGURE 1

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FIGURE 1

Diagram showing how the students are arranged in the classroom during Part 2 of the activity. The grey circles represent two students acting as channel proteins, the white circles represent students acting as water molecules. In this scenario, there are more water molecules outside the cell than inside the cell (the cell is in a hypotonic solution) so water molecules will move into the cell though the channel proteins until the number of water molecules is equal on both sides of the cell membrane (represented by the dotted line).

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. August 2018 vol. 19 no. 2 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v19i2.1576
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