Web-Based Learning Support for Experimental Design in Molecular Biology: A Top-Down Approach
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Aegerter-Wilmsen, T., Hartog, R. & Bisseling, T. (2003). Web-Based Learning Support for Experimental Design in Molecular Biology: A Top-Down Approach. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 14(3), 301-314. Norfolk, VA: AACE.
Retrieved from http://www.editlib.org/p/14604.
Journal of Interactive Learning Research
Volume 14, Issue 3, July 2003
Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE) Norfolk, VA
More Information on JILR
An important learning goal of a molecular biology curriculum is the attainment of a certain competence level in experimental design. Currently, undergraduate students are confronted with experimental approaches in textbooks, lectures and laboratory courses. However, most students do not reach a satisfactory level of competence in the designing of experimental set-ups. This article describes the development of web-based cases that offer students the opportunity to practice their design skills while addressing realistic research questions. Even though this may seem obvious, the authors did not develop a virtual lab that is as realistic as possible. In such a lab, students automatically focus on issues that are beyond the scope of an undergraduate course, which may hamper the acquisition of the essential basic concepts. Instead, an approach was chosen in which students have to design the overall procedure first and work out the individual steps afterward. Especially during the first stage students' control was limited to shield them from practical complexities. The material was evaluated in a regular educational setting and it fulfills most of the requirements initially set. In the discussion, the developed format is compared with those that are used in other disciplines.
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