About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 7260-7264
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.0058

Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain

BENEFITS OF USING MOLECULAR VISUALIZATION SOFTWARE AND ACTIVE LEARNING ACTIVITIES IN AN UNDERGRADUATE MOLECULAR BIOLOGY COURSE

A. Ribes Zamora

University of St. Thomas (UNITED STATES)
While the advantages of active learning activities are well documented, their use in upper division undergraduate biology courses remains scarce. These courses are usually focused on delivering large amounts of content through passive lecture-based instruction that only promotes lower-order cognitive skills. Here we present a step-by-step active learning activity that uses freely available molecular visualization tools to introduce students to the principles governing protein folding and protein-protein interactions. During this activity, students fold their own protein models and work with molecular visualization software to predict the effect of certain mutations in the structure and function of a transcription factor. Using an anonymous quiz, we have found that students taking a lecture about this topic followed by this activity, are more proficient at answering questions about protein folding a protein-protein interaction three weeks after taking this activity than right after the lecture. Quiz results also indicate that students acquire a more realistic view of protein structure and a deeper comprehension of the impact that mutations may have in protein structure and function. Overall, our results support a blended approach, where lectures are complemented with active learning activities, as an effective method to increase student’s content retention and promote higher order cognitive skills in upper division molecular biology courses.
@InProceedings{RIBESZAMORA2016BEN,
author = {Ribes Zamora, A.},
title = {BENEFITS OF USING MOLECULAR VISUALIZATION SOFTWARE AND ACTIVE LEARNING ACTIVITIES IN AN UNDERGRADUATE MOLECULAR BIOLOGY COURSE},
series = {8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN16 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-8860-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2016.0058},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2016.0058},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {7260-7264}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Ribes Zamora
TI - BENEFITS OF USING MOLECULAR VISUALIZATION SOFTWARE AND ACTIVE LEARNING ACTIVITIES IN AN UNDERGRADUATE MOLECULAR BIOLOGY COURSE
SN - 978-84-608-8860-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2016.0058
PY - 2016
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2016
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN16 Proceedings
SP - 7260
EP - 7264
ER -
A. Ribes Zamora (2016) BENEFITS OF USING MOLECULAR VISUALIZATION SOFTWARE AND ACTIVE LEARNING ACTIVITIES IN AN UNDERGRADUATE MOLECULAR BIOLOGY COURSE, EDULEARN16 Proceedings, pp. 7260-7264.
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