Using an inquiry-based learning module to improve content knowledge in a second-year biochemistry prac class: an update

Willems-Jones AJ, Szambelanczyk Orval I and Hu W

Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, School of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Melbourne.

Critical thinking and trouble-shooting skills, combined with theoretical knowledge in a content area linked to practical application, are key attributes of science graduates. In practical-based tertiary education, teaching of these attributes is often addressed through the process of scientific investigation. Unfortunately, there are distinct limitations to providing wet-lab inquiry-based learning (IBL) opportunities in large classes within the early stages of a degree due to the logistical and financial impost intrinsic to such activities. To address this limitation, a student-centred IBL e-module was developed to integrate knowledge of theory with practical application, and to examine student understanding of experiment design and analysis. The IBL e-module covers the common biochemistry and molecular biology techniques taught in BCMB20005: Techniques in Molecular Science at The University of Melbourne. Students must interrogate and examine one of three genes provided to overexpress and purify the encoded protein. Questions and unique feedback are provided along the way to aid students in their decision-making process. In this presentation, I will present an update of the completed product with data from pre- and post- student questionnaires from the first implementation of the 3-stage module.