Many of us reading this would agree that the usual step-by-step protocol fails to spike creativity or enhanced in-depth thinking in a practical session, especially when it comes to 21st century learners. The gap has always been about what’s learnt in a practical session and applying it to solve a real-life problem. As a consequence, it is common to observe the students commenting that the traditional practical sessions are non-challenging and outright BORING!
Having said that, who’d have thought with innovative learning a subject like Microbiology can actually be made interesting!
Dr. Wan Zuhainis, Head, Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular from Universiti Putra Malaysia has certainly proved this right. In this blog, she shares how she has used innovative learning in her classroom.
The Big Idea
First-semester Microbiology students, when asked during their first lecture about microbes, gave an impression of microorganisms were harmful and only caused diseases. With the goal to develop a mindset that differs judgment and understand their relevance in everyday application, a project called THANK A MICROBE was developed.
As the 21st Century learners, this project was designed by fusing learning with technology using Web 2.0 tools. The theme of the project was Beneficial Microbes and Their Applications. Each group was given an application based on the theme, Agriculture, Food, Medical, Environment and Industry.
Students were asked to choose a microbe of interest based on the application. They retrieved and gathered information about the microbe from scientific journals, the internet and other reliable sources. After collecting, assimilating and interpreting information relevant to the microbes, a maximum of a 3-minute-video was made to highlight the beneficial impact of the microbe to the environment, human or industry. An A1 sized poster was created. The poster exhibition was done in front of invited judges and evaluation was made based on an augmented poster rubric. This initiative empowered learners to use their creativities, open their minds on the importance of microorganisms.
Using Augmented Reality, creating videos and animations, developing a poster and presenting to an audience have spiked their curiosity and inspired them to explore more about microbiology, fostering independent
research and critical thinking skills.
This project has also equipped learners on the knowledge and skills they need to face their college life and benefit from the experience they received in the process. I myself was inspired with the students I worked with. Here is a glimpse of the THANK A MICROBE project.
At EduTECH Asia, Dr. Wan Zuhainis will take us through her big idea at the #teachtechtalks session.
If you are a passionate educator in higher education, you’ll definitely not want to miss this! Book your seat now before the prices rise.
See you in November!
Are you a teacher, a lecturer or a coach with a passion for technology who has successfully integrated a solution into a classroom setting? If yes then we are looking for you!
Submit your big idea and stand a chance to present at #teachtechtalks – a platform for the teachers, by the teachers.