1887

Analysis of a COVID-19 Clinical Trial to Emphasize Experimental Design and Quantitative Reasoning in an Introductory Biology Course

    Authors: Melinda R. Grosser1,*, Rebecca E. Hale1
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    Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, University of North Carolina Asheville, Asheville, NC 28804
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Received 30 September 2020 Accepted 11 December 2020 Published 31 March 2021
    • ©2021 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: Department of Biology, University of North Carolina Asheville, 220 Campus Drive, CPO 2040, Central Receiving, Asheville, NC 28804. Phone: 828-255-7131. E-mail: [email protected].
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. March 2021 vol. 22 no. 1 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v22i1.2389
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    Abstract:

    Increasing student exposure to primary literature in early biology coursework can enhance scientific literacy and quantitative reasoning skills. The efficacy of primary literature discussion is heavily impacted by article selection, as student engagement is optimal with material that is topical and has clear relevance to real world issues. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the prevalence of COVID-19–related scientific research in the mainstream media makes it an ideal topic for current discussion in entry-level biology courses. Here, we present an activity developed to facilitate a remote, synchronous discussion of an open access clinical trial publication on the experimental drug remdesivir in the treatment of COVID-19 (Beigel , 2020, N Engl J Med https://doi.org/10.1056/nejmoa2007764). The activity, which is amenable to adaptation for other research articles, emphasizes concepts in experimental design, statistical analysis, graphical interpretation, and the structure, content, and organization of typical sections of a primary research article. Importantly, the activity highlights the utility of the classroom response tool Pear Deck, a Google Slides add-on, for creating engaging literature discussions that can be readily adapted to a wide variety of teaching modalities.

References & Citations

1. Porter JA, Wolbach KC, Purzycki CB, Bowman LA, Agbada E, Mostrom AM 2010 Integration of information and scientific literacy: promoting literacy in undergraduates CBE Life Sci Educ 9 536 542 10.1187/cbe.10-01-0006 21123700 2995771 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.10-01-0006
2. Krontiris-Litowitz J 2013 Using primary literature to teach science literacy to introductory biology students J Microbiol Biol Educ 14 66 77 10.1128/jmbe.v14i1.538 23858355 3706167 http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v14i1.538
3. Speth EB, Momsen JL, Moyerbrailean GA, Ebert-May D, Long TM, Wyse S, Linton D 2010 1,2,3, 4: Infusing quantitative literacy into introductory biology CBE Life Sci Educ 9 323 332 10.1187/cbe.10-03-0033 20810965 2931680 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.10-03-0033
4. Bolsen T, Palm R, Kingsland JT 2019 Counteracting climate science politicization with effective frames and imagery Sci Commun 41 147 171 10.1177/1075547019834565 http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1075547019834565
5. Van Der Linden S, Leiserowitz A, Maibach E 2018 Scientific agreement can neutralize politicization of facts Nat Hum Behav 2 1 10.1038/s41562-017-0259-2. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41562-017-0259-2.
6. Bolsen T, Druckman JN 2015 Counteracting the politicization of science J Commun 65 5 10.1111/jcom.12171 http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcom.12171
7. Beigel JH, Tomashek KM, Dodd LE, Mehta AK, Zingman BS, Kalil AC, Hohmann E, Chu HY, Luetkemeyer A, Kline S, Lopez de Castilla D, Finberg RW, Dierberg K, Tapson V, Hsieh L, Patterson TF, Paredes R, Sweeney DA, Short WR, Touloumi G, Lye DC, Ohmagari N, Oh M, Ruiz-Palacios GM, Benfield T, Fätkenheuer G, Kortepeter MG, Atmar RL, Creech CB, Lundgren J, Babiker AG, Pett S, Neaton JD, Burgess TH, Bonnett T, Green M, Makowski M, Osinusi A, Nayak S, Lane HC 2020 Remdesivir for the treatment of COVID-19: final report N Engl J Med 383 1813 1826 10.1056/NEJMoa2007764 32445440 7262788 http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2007764
8. Round JE, Campbell AM 2013 Figure facts: encouraging undergraduates to take a data-centered approach to reading primary literature CBE Life Sci Educ 12 39 46 10.1187/cbe.11-07-0057 23463227 3587854 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.11-07-0057
9. Rosenthal J, Rosenthal KS 2017 Interactive journal club: teaching an old dog new tricks J Med Educ Curric Dev 4 23821205177 1971 10.1177/2382120517719710 http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2382120517719710
10. Kararo M, McCartney M 2019 Annotated primary scientific literature: a pedagogical tool for undergraduate courses PLOS Biol 17 e3000103 10.1371/journal.pbio.3000103 30625129 6342315 http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3000103

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2021-03-31
2021-05-14

Abstract:

Increasing student exposure to primary literature in early biology coursework can enhance scientific literacy and quantitative reasoning skills. The efficacy of primary literature discussion is heavily impacted by article selection, as student engagement is optimal with material that is topical and has clear relevance to real world issues. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the prevalence of COVID-19–related scientific research in the mainstream media makes it an ideal topic for current discussion in entry-level biology courses. Here, we present an activity developed to facilitate a remote, synchronous discussion of an open access clinical trial publication on the experimental drug remdesivir in the treatment of COVID-19 (Beigel , 2020, N Engl J Med https://doi.org/10.1056/nejmoa2007764). The activity, which is amenable to adaptation for other research articles, emphasizes concepts in experimental design, statistical analysis, graphical interpretation, and the structure, content, and organization of typical sections of a primary research article. Importantly, the activity highlights the utility of the classroom response tool Pear Deck, a Google Slides add-on, for creating engaging literature discussions that can be readily adapted to a wide variety of teaching modalities.

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