ASM events
This conference is managed by the American Society for Microbiology


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Course/Student Population

  • >300 students enrolled per semester, fall and spring
  • 3 cr introductory microbiology lecture course, microbiology majors must also take a 3 cr introductory microbiology laboratory course
  • Audience is primarily science majors (>95% pre-health profession majors)
  • Typically taken in 3rd year of a 4 year curriculum
  • Students have very busy lives outside of class (i.e. work, sports, fraternity/sorority, family, pre-MCAT/GRE courses) and have class schedules which make it difficult to coordinate group sessions external to the established class meeting time
  • Finding space for additional outside class meetings is difficult for large groups (i.e. professor-led reviews and breakout sessions)


Learning Problems To Be Addressed:

  • Problem 1:  Students only want to memorize the necessary content to ‘do the job’ – i.e. pass the course, score high enough on the MCAT to get into medical school- and do not develop a deep meaningful understanding connection of concepts.
  • Problem 2:  Traditional lecture (passive teaching) delivery does not promote student engagement in classroom environments which drives deeper learning. 
  • Problem 3:  Large course enrollment (>300) limits my ability to engage with students as individuals and to a) increase student motivation to learn and b) to provide low-stakes feedback opportunities to address individual student learning issues.


Why is it interesting?

  • Problem solving activities promote higher order thinking (Bloom’s)
  • Team-based learning has been shown to increase individual student motivation
  • Hybrid/blended learning deliveries have shown to affect student motivation in a positive manner
  • Blended/hybrid classes often employ face-to-to face instruction (traditional lecture) with online activities that students participate in rather than sit in class
  • Students in high-enrollment courses report a lack of connection with professor in traditional format delivery courses, decreasing student motivation – also decreased mastery of content?
  • Delivery of traditional lectures via podcast allows students to access lecture as many times as necessary/desired for students to master the concepts delivered – online degree programs are becoming very popular
  • Problem solving activities can be connected to real world implications which could affect student motivation to learn or student interest
  • Large enrollment courses tend to employ selective response (multiple choice) in a high stakes single-tier assessment


Research Question(s) & Alignments to Problems:

  • Does using a modified blended instructional model which shifts from a passive learning classroom environment (traditional lecture by the professor) to  an active learning environment in which team-based problem solving activities are employed in the classroom(the professor serves as  facilitor) and is coupled with online podcasts of traditional lectures) improve students’ abilities higher order thinking skills?


  • Alignments of question/problem: a)  problem-solving skills will drive students to develop higher-order thinking;  b) collaborative learning (team) focus provides peer-based interaction to develop knowledge in a deeper manner than on an individual basis.

  • Does using a modified blended instructional model (as described above) improve students’ motivation to learn science?


  • Alignments of question/problem: a) more individualized attention (at lower stakes) can be provided to the students if the professor acts as a facilitator in the classroom instead of using class time for traditional lecture - traditional lectures will still be provided as podcasts; b) team-based collaborative learning provides peer-based motivation to strive to perform in a more engaged manner.


  • Is there a collabortive effect of the new teaching delivery style on student performance and motivation?


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 Dustman BSPRR Presentation.ppt
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1845.5 kB12:33, 15 Jul 2011wdustmanActions
Viewing 7 of 7 comments: view all
i've mentioned this before - but i LOVE this idea!
Posted 13:24, 15 Jul 2011
I have already started an on-line lecture / in-class lab format in one of my courses, and the student reactions are good.
Posted 13:25, 15 Jul 2011
I really like the idea of flipping it so that they've learned before coming to class and then work with you in class.
Posted 13:25, 15 Jul 2011
Great - well thoughtout
Posted 13:28, 15 Jul 2011
Great idea - check this reference out: Learn before Lecture: A Strategy That Improves Learning Outcomes in a Large Introductory Biology Class
Marin Moravec, Adrienne Williams, Nancy Aguilar-Roca, and Diane K. O'Dowd,HWELTR
Posted 13:29, 15 Jul 2011
Nice idea - it will be great to see what shifts in attitudes occur. If you decide to narrow the parameters you will measure, which ones do you feel would be most important?
Posted 14:21, 15 Jul 2011
Hi - I tried to capture the high points of your talk and your questions...very busy students who are applying to all kinds of great places…hard to get space and time outside of class time b/c of UGA constraints…students want to memorize and don’t want to get to ‘deep thinking’ until post-grad…hybrid or blended learning – combination of lecture with online problems – FLIP – lecture online and do work in class on problems & misconceptions…collaboration effects…motivation effects??? What would a typical day look like in your class – working together? How to design the teams? Use folders with team numbers so you can hand out and get back stuff quickly…Big post-its.
Posted 14:25, 15 Jul 2011
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