ASM events
This conference is managed by the American Society for Microbiology
Table of contents
No headers

The IRB process was actually quite easy and I have very little to report on that front.  They allowed me to look at past data in aggregate to use it as background for my research.  The only minor edit that they wanted was to include a few more words on the consent form to clarify that students would not be penalized if they did not participate.  99% of my students did sign the form, which is great!  The pre-test was astounding in terms of the lack of basic knowledge about the relationship between DNA and proteins. Hopefully the post-test will show great improvement.


I honestly cannot think of one particularly major accomplishment.  Overall this has been a very busy and overwhelming semester for me and I'm just thrilled to have gotten the IRB passed, the consent forms signed, the pre-test completed and the semester still moving forward.  The big stuff will come when the semester is over and I finally have time to sit down and start analyzing the data.


One major obstacle has come from my experimental setup.  I've chosen to look at the role of directed or organic peer discussion in conjunction with clicker questions.  I believe I should have more clearly defined what I meant by this.  I have found that I give some direction and guidance while reading my questions and then sometimes additional guidance toward where their discussion focus should lie.  Sometimes I find myself already starting to give guidance and then stopping from giving more guidance to my control group.  It is my natural tendency to want to help both groups of students.  I wish I'd more clearly stated what the control and experimental groups would look like.  Or perhaps I'm just walking a fine line and the question I am asking is just difficult to control.

Tag page
Viewing 2 of 2 comments: view all
Hi Naomi,

Just getting the IRB in place, and the discussions set up, and the pre-test administered is a huge accomplishment! To perhaps play a bit of devil's advocate- as you are asking the question about the two kinds of groups, then you must have a reason for asking... if you already thought directed was better, then you wouldn't be doing this project. So when you want to "help", remember that you don't for sure if you are actually helping their learning (hopefully your results will tell you something about that)- your "guidance" may end up making them less self-reliant or less self-accountable, or less likely to try to really understand it... (again, just to be Devil's advocate here). So I guess I would say that you want to try and preserve your design as much as possible, so that you will hopefully have clean enough data to learn something good from it. So as much as possible try to not confound your own setup ;) And on the other hand, I too feel your struggle in terms of not having things as defined as clearly as you would like- but that is part of doing the first (pilot) run- you learn a lot about your set-up and can then make improvements to your design the next time. Same thing for bench work in many ways (if you are trying a particularly challenging experiment for the first time, you may have to do several runs to get all the parameters right).

Hang in there- sounds like a busy semester, but at least your project is well under way!

-Michele S.
Posted 15:57, 28 Nov 2011
Thanks for the comment Michelle! I've been so busy - I'm just seeing this now! Currently having fun playing with data! Good advice....thank you!! : )
Posted 16:02, 26 Jan 2012
Viewing 2 of 2 comments: view all
You must login to post a comment.