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Blend the Lab Course, Flip the Responsibility

Blend the Lab Course, Flip the Responsibility
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Author(s): Mark A. Gallo (Niagara University, USA)
Copyright: 2015
Pages: 23
Source title: STEM Education: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Information Resources Management Association (USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7363-2.ch079

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Abstract

An upper-level special topics course in Applied, Environmental, and Medical Microbiology was offered for the first time. It was decided by the author to offer it as a blended course. There were some compelling reasons to do so: first and foremost, it allowed class time to be spent doing what one should in a lab-intensive course: remark on current state of knowledge and literature, describe experimental design, discuss potential outcomes, troubleshoot technical problems as they arise, and offer suggestions regarding students' research throughout the process. The ultimate goal and real value of the blended classroom in this instance was elevating the level of student responsibility and forcing them to view a science class as something more than a collection of facts: rather as a very active class, one that requires individual action. It was also designed to allow the students to participate in fundamental scientific research with the help of a mentor in a manner that was/is still practiced and in full view of peer review. The role of the faculty member changes to one of providing guidance instead of content in the classroom, and so it gives one more individual time with the students; this time can be used for diagnostic, formative, and summative assessment.

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