Evaluation of Students Scientific and Medical Literacy After Performing Laboratory Exercises in a Microbiology Laboratory for Non-Majors

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Vijay Sivaraman


Introduction to Microbes and Disease was designed to introduce students to the field of Microbiology, with a focus on medicine and disease. In this course, students develop a comprehensive understanding of the structure of biology of microbes and how the human immune system interacts with them to fight disease. All undergraduate students directed on a health science course path will benefit from this introductory course, but this course does not fulfill requirements for Biology majors. The newly developed course was developed in 2013 and was first offered in the fall semester of 2014.

Pre-assessment and post-assessment exams were used in the Microbes and Disease - Biology 2510 (Introduction to Microbes and Disease) for the spring 2017 semester in which the total enrollment was 140 students. In this study, the assessments were used to examine the confidence and competence in biological concepts and lab techniques in the biology lab course for non-majors. The assessments were evaluated quantitatively and qualitatively. Lab experiment reports were used to examine the collaboration and student-learning occurring in lab. Grades for individual assessments and laboratory reports were collected, and analyzed using Microsoft Excel.

            Scatter plots illustrated the grade distribution of 98 pre and post assessments representing all students enrolled in BIOL 2510 for the 2017 spring semester. Differences between pre and post assessment grades and laboratory report grades are indicated by line charts These graphs also provided comparisons between the different lab sections.

           This science education project addressed active learning themes, the importance of weekly lab write ups, collaborative group work and confidence and competence of biological concepts and laboratory techniques.


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Sivaraman, V. (2018). Evaluation of Students Scientific and Medical Literacy After Performing Laboratory Exercises in a Microbiology Laboratory for Non-Majors. International Journal of Innovation Education and Research, 6(2), 124-143. Retrieved from https://ijier.net/index.php/ijier/article/view/956


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