DEVELOPING LEARNING IN BIOCHEMISTRY AND LIFE SKILLS THROUGH CASE-BASED WORKSHOPS

Katherine Fernandez, Melissa Sweeney, Nirma Samarawickrema

Abstract


BACKGROUND

Teaching through case-based workshops is a student-centered strategy designed to heighten higher-order thinking, through a discussion of complex, real-world scenarios to enable students to link concepts learnt in class to future practice. We report findings of teaching Biochemistry to second year Nutrition students from a mix of 8 teacher-led case-based workshops (TCW) and 4 student-led case-based workshops (SCW) over the 12-week semester.

AIMS

To compare perceived learning of Biochemistry and life skills through TCW and SCW.

DESCRIPTION OF INTERVENTION

We surveyed students to determine the benefits of TCW in comparison to SCW.

DESIGN AND METHODS

We administered an anonymous survey consisting of 22 items using a Likert scale and 6 open-ended questions. All responses were coded for emergent themes. The Likert scale was converted to a numerical level of agreement.

RESULTS

Students agreed that learning in biochemistry (51%) and life skills (53%) were developed more in TCW compared to SCW. Data from open-ended questions confirmed that TCW developed learning in biochemistry through its structure and support mechanism, while life skills were developed through opportunities for collaboration, communication and improving interpersonal skills.

CONCLUSIONS

TCWs promote learning and life skills, a basis for nurturing the next generation of Biochemists ready for an uncertain future.

Keywords


case-based workshops, teacher-led, student-led

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