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Designing an Audiocast Assignment: A Primary-Literature-Based Approach that Promotes Student Learning of Cell and Molecular Biology through Conversations with Scientist Authors †

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Instructors of large (>300 students) undergraduate foundation courses at the authors’ university tell students that what they learn has relevance to ongoing research in the field and convey stories about the relentless curiosity behind the exciting work of biologists... The final product was a five- to ten-minute audiocast or videocast (Appendix 4) in which students summarized the paper’s findings, its relevance to course concepts and implications for the field, using clips from the author interview... Weekly TA and instructor office hours were available for students to ask clarifying questions about the content or techniques used in the paper; however, self-directed learning was encouraged... Students then recorded their own paper summary and linked that to author interview clips to produce the final audiocast, prior to the assignment due date... Twenty-five percent of the points assigned to categories 1 and 3 were determined during student–TA meetings, in which students’ level of academic preparation, interest, and self-directed learning were evaluated (Appendix 2)... Anonymous student feedback was solicited through an optional, online survey (the full survey and responses can be found in Appendix 3) distributed in summer 2013 (n = 20)... With CREATE, the instructor moderated bi-weekly sessions throughout a 14-week course aimed entirely at developing literature reading skills... This differs from our assignment, which is only one component of learning in a large foundation course and hence can be easily adapted to existing courses without large demands on instructor time and resources... More loosely structured approaches utilizing instructor-generated questions to guide learning, similar to our literature-reading guide, are shown to be as effective as CREATE in stimulating critical thinking, lending support to our design... Notably and unlike other studies, our students were neither a subset of high performers nor advanced research project students, as our goal was to engage all students early in their undergraduate tenure.

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Assignment survey results to Question 4: Comment on the experience of learning through asking questions. All responses can be found in Appendix 3, p. 12.
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f2-jmbe-17-472: Assignment survey results to Question 4: Comment on the experience of learning through asking questions. All responses can be found in Appendix 3, p. 12.

Mentions: A full 95% of students (19 out of 20) suggested that the opportunity to interview a scientist was a very positive experience and aided in their learning (Fig. 2). Students remarked that they were able to see how a scientist might think in terms of breaking down a problem and that speaking with scientists was “fun and exciting.” Studies have shown that when students incorporate people (their stories, explanations, etc.) into their framework for the storage of specific concepts, they can access such concepts more readily (2, 3, 5, 9). Seventy-five percent of students suggested that participation in this assignment positively influenced their attitude toward scientific research (Fig. 3). With increasing need for public support for science, it is critical that undergraduates appreciate the role and value of research.


Designing an Audiocast Assignment: A Primary-Literature-Based Approach that Promotes Student Learning of Cell and Molecular Biology through Conversations with Scientist Authors †
Assignment survey results to Question 4: Comment on the experience of learning through asking questions. All responses can be found in Appendix 3, p. 12.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5134954&req=5

f2-jmbe-17-472: Assignment survey results to Question 4: Comment on the experience of learning through asking questions. All responses can be found in Appendix 3, p. 12.
Mentions: A full 95% of students (19 out of 20) suggested that the opportunity to interview a scientist was a very positive experience and aided in their learning (Fig. 2). Students remarked that they were able to see how a scientist might think in terms of breaking down a problem and that speaking with scientists was “fun and exciting.” Studies have shown that when students incorporate people (their stories, explanations, etc.) into their framework for the storage of specific concepts, they can access such concepts more readily (2, 3, 5, 9). Seventy-five percent of students suggested that participation in this assignment positively influenced their attitude toward scientific research (Fig. 3). With increasing need for public support for science, it is critical that undergraduates appreciate the role and value of research.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED EXCERPT
Please rate it.

Instructors of large (>300 students) undergraduate foundation courses at the authors’ university tell students that what they learn has relevance to ongoing research in the field and convey stories about the relentless curiosity behind the exciting work of biologists... The final product was a five- to ten-minute audiocast or videocast (Appendix 4) in which students summarized the paper’s findings, its relevance to course concepts and implications for the field, using clips from the author interview... Weekly TA and instructor office hours were available for students to ask clarifying questions about the content or techniques used in the paper; however, self-directed learning was encouraged... Students then recorded their own paper summary and linked that to author interview clips to produce the final audiocast, prior to the assignment due date... Twenty-five percent of the points assigned to categories 1 and 3 were determined during student–TA meetings, in which students’ level of academic preparation, interest, and self-directed learning were evaluated (Appendix 2)... Anonymous student feedback was solicited through an optional, online survey (the full survey and responses can be found in Appendix 3) distributed in summer 2013 (n = 20)... With CREATE, the instructor moderated bi-weekly sessions throughout a 14-week course aimed entirely at developing literature reading skills... This differs from our assignment, which is only one component of learning in a large foundation course and hence can be easily adapted to existing courses without large demands on instructor time and resources... More loosely structured approaches utilizing instructor-generated questions to guide learning, similar to our literature-reading guide, are shown to be as effective as CREATE in stimulating critical thinking, lending support to our design... Notably and unlike other studies, our students were neither a subset of high performers nor advanced research project students, as our goal was to engage all students early in their undergraduate tenure.

No MeSH data available.