About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4822-4828
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-5538-9
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain

ENHANCING LEARNING, GENERIC SKILLS AND CAMARADERIE THROUGH STUDENT PRESENTATIONS

S. Lee, K. Woods

Griffith University (AUSTRALIA)
To inspire students about contemporary bioscience issues, we offered first year Science/Environment students (~110 students) a course called Topics in Biosciences, a core course for students undertaking the Bachelor of Biomedical Science and the Bachelor of Science (Conservation Biology and Ecology) degrees, and an elective course for other Science/Environment degree programs. It was imperative that the course content be contemporary, interesting and relevant to students with a diverse range of interests and different focus. The course also aimed to enhance generic skills such as oral communication, the capacity to find and use accurate scientific information, and to work as an effective team member utilising multidisciplinary knowledge. The challenge of the student diversity was faced by choosing three main themes (Utilisation and Conservation of Natural Resources, Disease Ecology, and Investigation of Bioresources). Each theme had elements related to both health/disease and ecology, where understanding required information from both perspectives (e.g. the understanding of the symptoms, spread and control of mosquito-borne Dengue Fever). Presentation of this material was from both “in-house” and invited guest lecturers, known for their passion for their topics. As well as lecture attendance, the students undertook workshops in rooms with computers to allow internet access. The varied workshop topics had an Australian-context bias and matched the general lecture themes. After general workshops in which students worked individually on questions that required application of principles of scientific information retrieval and an understanding of bioethics, the students began a series of workshop sessions where they were responsible as a small team for researching then presenting material. The topics were chosen for their interest and multidisciplinarity (e.g. use of frog “glue” in surgery; Komodo dragon conservation and disease issues related to pathogenic salivary bacteria and recently identified “ancient” venom; green fluorescent protein from jelly fish and use in “brainbows”; use of pollen in forensic science and in ecology; Bluetongue Virus and climate change). The first 2 hour workshop involved meeting of the allocated team of 4-5 students per given research topic, during which time they agreed on tasks, used internet research resources and began to develop a PowerPoint team presentation (~ 15 minutes) for the following week. The course convenor who allocated teams of 4-5 students ensured that the team was a mix of environment and biomedical students and varied the team for each of three presentations. In spite of the initial fear of oral presentations, the final surveys showed an overwhelming positive response to this style of learning, with no adverse comments (90 responses) on this unfamiliar and challenging format. The interest and relevance of the lectures and workshops were both highly rated and the student presentations and use of expert lecturers were singled out as the best features. The students also remarked on the way that the format had broadened their interest in bioscience (“Gained valuable insight into the variety of fields of study within science”), helped them to meet other students (“group assignments – provide teamwork and help students to meet many others in the course”), and typically commented that “having to do our own research and talks was a great way to learn.”
@InProceedings{LEE2010ENH,
author = {Lee, S. and Woods, K.},
title = {ENHANCING LEARNING, GENERIC SKILLS AND CAMARADERIE THROUGH STUDENT PRESENTATIONS},
series = {4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-5538-9},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {8-10 March, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {4822-4828}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Lee AU - K. Woods
TI - ENHANCING LEARNING, GENERIC SKILLS AND CAMARADERIE THROUGH STUDENT PRESENTATIONS
SN - 978-84-613-5538-9/2340-1079
PY - 2010
Y1 - 8-10 March, 2010
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2010 Proceedings
SP - 4822
EP - 4828
ER -
S. Lee, K. Woods (2010) ENHANCING LEARNING, GENERIC SKILLS AND CAMARADERIE THROUGH STUDENT PRESENTATIONS, INTED2010 Proceedings, pp. 4822-4828.
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