BUILDING A DMU E-BIOLOGY RESOURCE FOR HEALTH SCIENCES’ STUDENTS
1 School of Allied Health Sciences, De Montfort University, Leicester, LE1 9BH (UNITED KINGDOM)
2 De Montfort University (UNITED KINGDOM)
3 Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad San Pablo CEU, Urbanización Montepríncipe, Madrid (SPAIN)
4 Universidad de Alcalá, Departamento de Ciencias Biomédicas (SPAIN)
5 Postgraduate and CPD Office, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, De Montfort University, Leicester, LE1 9BH (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:The BSc Biomedical Science (BMS) programme at De Montfort University (DMU, Leicester, UK) is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS). Students enrolled within this programme acquire highly sought after skills related with human health sciences to work in: pathology departments in hospitals; research institutions; biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries; and the education sector to name a few. The degree recruits a large number of students with currently around 600 students enrolled on this programme at DMU. Despite pre-entry requirements of knowledge of subjects related to human biology, biology or chemistry, we have noted that first year students require basic support in STEM subjects (biology, chemistry and mathematics) in modules such as “Basic Microbiology”, “Basic Anatomy and Physiology” and “Chemistry for the Biosciences”. This support is especially necessary for students that come from non-traditional routes such as Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) routes. Moreover, usually topics related with microbiology and human diseases are challenging for students, often causing stress impacting their overall performance and experience. A group of BMS academics at DMU in conjunction with universities in the European Union (EU; e.g. University of San Pablo CEU, Spain) have started to design, create and develop a series of e-learning resources or units in human biology and BMS for undergraduate students that study health sciences degrees in the EU. These units are being uploaded onto the DMU web server (http://parasitology.dmu.ac.uk/) and will be only accessible for students from participating universities during the first phase of this project (2017/18 course) in which comprehensive feedback will be collected. This web server space has three sections or modules (theoretical section, virtual laboratory and microscope) in which the new e-learning resources will be preliminary accommodated. These units will be interactive and easy to follow, and will cover basic human biology (e.g. cells, cell structure), human anatomy and physiology, histology and basic microbiology, which will be embedded in a theoretical module named DMU e-Biology within the above URL link. They will include formative assessments and case studies throughout each unit. In addition, a series of practical units are being developed which describe routine practical elements in any biomedical laboratory such as laboratory materials, pipetting, molecular techniques (e.g. PCR), cell culture (e.g. use of biological safety cabinet) and histological techniques (e.g. use of microtome, staining techniques). The development of this teaching and learning resource will cover a gap in the traditional teaching and learning methods that are currently used and provided in the participating universities. The DMU e-Biology will aid to our undergraduate students to gain knowledge in human biology and microbiology by promoting self-learning. We consider that the DMU e-Biology will help overcome spatiotemporal, equipment and resource barriers. Additionally, it may help student retention as currently about a 10% of our first year students fail to continue BMS at DMU. Finally, the creation of the DMU e-Biology will also provide support to the DMU Student Retention and Attainment Strategy 2016-2020 through the DMU Student Learning Hub, which is currently under development.
Keywords: Teaching biomedical science, e-Biology, human biology, microbiology, virtual learning, undergraduate students.