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ERIC Number: EJ943878
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1539-2422
Incorporating a Literature-Based Learning Approach into a Lab Course to Increase Student Understanding
Parent, Beth A.; Marbach-Ad, Gili; Swanson, Karen V.; Smith, Ann C.
Bioscene: Journal of College Biology Teaching, v36 n2 p34-40 Dec 2010
Scientific literature was used to give a research oriented context to our immunology lab course. Immunology lab, a senior level course (60 students/year) was formerly taught in a traditional mode, with exercises aimed at learning lab protocols. To engage students in understanding we connected the protocols to their use as reported in research articles, employing an interrupted case study method called Literature Based Learning (LBL). Our goals were to give a research context to learning basic protocols, engage students in reading scientific literature, and increase students' understanding of how standard techniques are employed to address a research question. An end of semester experimental design project using mock research scenarios culminated the research oriented learning. Pre-course surveys revealed that nearly 25% of students had never been asked in the course setting to read a primary research article. Post-course surveys revealed that 94% of students thought that after the course they knew more about research and over half of the students agreed that the literature-based assignments had raised their confidence in their ability to understand scientific articles. We found that the LBL approach was an effective mechanism to engage our students in research oriented learning. While easy to implement, it had a dramatic outcome. (Contains 2 tables and 1 figure.)
Association of College and Biology Educators. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A