Teaching scientific inquiry in human reproductive biology through use of animal models: in vivo vs video

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    Scientific inquiry (SI) refers to the process practiced by researchers to develop scientific knowledge. A sound understanding of SI is considered essential to achieve scientific literacy. In biomedical professions, it is also important to develop an appreciation for the necessity and value of animal-based research. This study describes the introduction of a laboratory-associated assignment to encourage undergraduate students studying ‘Human Reproduction’ to develop a deeper understanding of SI, and enhance their awareness of animal-based research. We also investigated the effectiveness of online video resources to deliver part of the laboratory content, thereby introducing a blended learning experience. An assignment was designed in 2011 to complement a pre-existing pregnant rat dissection laboratory, and online video resources were introduced in 2013. Both student cohorts achieved similar grades for the assignment overall. Interestingly, students achieved significantly lower grades for the ‘Results’ section of the assignment compared to all other criterion (both cohorts P < 0.05) which may reflect difficulty in the data analysis component of SI. Student perception data, gathered by questionnaire, demonstrated that the students found the assignment interesting (2011: 95% in agreement; 2013: 94%), and intellectually stimulating (89 and 100% respectively). 62% of students revisited the videos to revise laboratory content. Overall, this study suggests that introducing the laboratoryassociated assignment led to a deeper understanding of SI, and enhanced student awareness of animal-based research. Furthermore, delivering part of the laboratory content by online videos did not compromise student achievement or engagement, and provided students with a useful revision tool.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationPurveyors of fine learning since 1992: Proceedings of the 25th Annual Teaching Learning Forum 2016
    EditorsRoger Atkinson, Clare McBeath
    Place of PublicationPerth
    PublisherCurtin University of Technology
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    EventTeaching and Learning Forum 2016 - Curtin University, Perth, Australia
    Duration: 2 Feb 20162 Feb 2016
    Conference number: 25


    ConferenceTeaching and Learning Forum 2016
    Abbreviated titleWAND
    Internet address


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