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What’s Your Diagnosis? A Rapid Inquiry–Based Game To Differentiate and Review Medically Important Microbes

    Authors: Grace L. Axler-DiPerte1,*, Mary T. Ortiz1
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    Affiliations: 1: Kingsborough Community College, The City University of New York, Brooklyn, NY 11235
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Received 13 December 2019 Accepted 21 September 2020 Published 12 November 2020
    • ©2020 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.

    • Supplemental materials available at http://asmscience.org/jmbe
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Kingsborough Community College, The City University of New York, 2001 Oriental Blvd., Brooklyn, NY 11235. Phone: 718-368-5745. E-mail: [email protected].
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. November 2020 vol. 21 no. 3 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v21i3.2059
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    Abstract:

    A central component of science education involves teaching the process of hypothesis development and modification.  This is often done through repeated cycles of questioning, followed by data collection and refinement of hypotheses.  Microbiology courses often include units on infectious diseases grouped by body system, with the goal of allowing students to make observations and use data to identify a specific microbe or class of microbes.  Given that disease syndromes often have similar signs and symptoms, but diverse etiologies, it can be difficult for students to distinguish and differentiate them.  We present a rapid-paced and engaging game that enables students to practice deductive and inductive cycles of reasoning to distinguish among various causes of infectious disease.  This game requires students to identify a microbe from a field of diverse, yet medically important, microorganisms by asking a series of Yes/No questions and replicating the process of elimination used in differential diagnosis. Students compete against each other, individually or in teams, to be the first to reach a “diagnosis” and learn to quickly refine their hypotheses and determine the most direct line of investigation using simple Yes/No questioning.  This game can be played in 15 to 30 minute sessions, and can be easily customized to a particular course’s content. 

References & Citations

1. Norman-McKay L 2018 Microbiology in nursing and allied health (MINAH) undergraduate curriculum guidelines: a call to retain microbiology lecture and laboratory courses in nursing and allied health programs J Microbiol Biol Educ 19 1 1 5 10.1128/jmbe.v19i1.1524 http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v19i1.1524
2. Merkel S 2012 The development of curricular guidelines for introductory microbiology that focus on understanding J Microbiol Biol Educ 13 1 32 38 10.1128/jmbe.v13i1.363 23653779 3577306 http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v13i1.363
3. American Association for the Advancement of Science 2011 Vision and change in undergraduate biology education: a call to action 2010. [Online.] http://www.visionandchange.org/VC_report.pdf
4. Freeman S, O’Connor E, Parks JW, Cunningham M, Hurley D, Haak D, Dirks C, Wenderoth MP 2007 Prescribed active learning increases performance in introductory biology CBE Life Sci Educ 6 132 139 10.1187/cbe.06-09-0194 17548875 1885904 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.06-09-0194
5. Franklin S, Peat M, Lewis A 2003 Non-traditional interventions to stimulate discussion: the use of games and puzzles J Biol Educ 37 79 84 10.1080/00219266.2003.9655856 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00219266.2003.9655856
6. Smetana LK, Bell RL 2012 Computer simulations to support science instruction and learning: a critical review of the literature Int J Sci Educ 34 9 1337 1370 10.1080/09500693.2011.605182 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09500693.2011.605182
7. Castro MJ, Lopez M, Cao MJ, Fernandez-Castro M, Garcia S, Frutos M, Jimenez JM 2019 Impact of educational games on academic outcomes of students in the degree in nursing PLOS One 14 7 e0220388 10.1371/journal.pone.0220388 31356621 6663014 http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0220388
8. Cicchino MI 2015 Using game-based learning to foster critical thinking in student discourse Interdisc J Prob Learn 9 2 2 18
9. Pedaste M, Maeots M, Siiman LA, de Jong T, van Riesen SAN, Kamp ET, Manoli CC, Zacharia ZC, Tsourlidaki E 2015 Phases of inquiry-based learning: definitions and the inquiry cycle Educ Res Rev 14 47 61 10.1016/j.edurev.2015.02.003 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2015.02.003
10. Kassirer JP 2010 Teaching clinical reasoning: case-based and coached Acad Med 85 1118 1124 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181d5dd0d 20603909 http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181d5dd0d

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Abstract:

A central component of science education involves teaching the process of hypothesis development and modification.  This is often done through repeated cycles of questioning, followed by data collection and refinement of hypotheses.  Microbiology courses often include units on infectious diseases grouped by body system, with the goal of allowing students to make observations and use data to identify a specific microbe or class of microbes.  Given that disease syndromes often have similar signs and symptoms, but diverse etiologies, it can be difficult for students to distinguish and differentiate them.  We present a rapid-paced and engaging game that enables students to practice deductive and inductive cycles of reasoning to distinguish among various causes of infectious disease.  This game requires students to identify a microbe from a field of diverse, yet medically important, microorganisms by asking a series of Yes/No questions and replicating the process of elimination used in differential diagnosis. Students compete against each other, individually or in teams, to be the first to reach a “diagnosis” and learn to quickly refine their hypotheses and determine the most direct line of investigation using simple Yes/No questioning.  This game can be played in 15 to 30 minute sessions, and can be easily customized to a particular course’s content. 

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FIGURE 1

Sample game board for, “What’s Your Diagnosis?”

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. November 2020 vol. 21 no. 3 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v21i3.2059
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