Transformative Interventions in Cell Biology: Motivating Cell and Molecular Biology Majors Using Instructor/Student-Interactive Demonstrations of Key Concepts


Our overall educational goal is to individualize student learning by creating an environment that values each student. Improved high-quality instruction in core STEM courses will be provided to accelerate and deepen student learning by addressing more individually students’ needs in an effort to decrease achievement gaps (i.e., such as those in under-represented groups). This project will also promote student accessibility to teaching excellence by promoting the spread of the evidence-based teaching methods across multiple key STEM courses. Specifically, our first aim is to improve students’ learning of challenging key cell biology concepts using props: (1) Replication, (2) Translation, (3) Protein Trafficking and Orientation in Membranes, and (4) Cell Signaling Pathways. The prop development and their initial implementation (in Fall 2018) were derived and modified from key publications. Our second aim is to improve the students’ ability to analyze research articles (integrating strong understanding of Cell Biology concepts, basic Cell and Molecular Biology Methods, identifying gaps in knowledge, interpretation of research data, identifying future directions) in our Advanced Cell Biology course using a Jigsaw Workgroup Strategy. Additional student educational goals include (1) improving student entry and retention in the Cell and Molecular Biology Major (a key STEM degree program) and (2) student success in post-graduate goals (i.e., MCAT (Medical School Admission Test) and research) which entails development of appropriate critical thinking skills and communication skills. This project is supported by NSF Grant #1525574 Systemic Transformation of Education Through Evidence-Based Reforms (STEER).

Author Information
Meera Nanjundan, University of South Florida, United States
Prashanth Rao, University of South Florida, United States
Ashok Upadhyaya, University of South Florida, United States

Paper Information
Conference: ACEID2021
Stream: Teaching Experiences

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon