Adopt a Bacterium: an active and collaborative learning experience in microbiology based on social media

Marco Aurélio Floriano Piantola, Ana Carolina Ramos Moreno, Heloísa Alonso Matielo, Natalia Pasternak Taschner, Rafael Ciro Marques Cavalcante, Samia Khan, Rita de Cássia Café Ferreira

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Abstract

The “Adopt a Bacterium” project is based on the use of social network as a tool in Microbiology undergraduate education, improving student learning and encouraging students to participate in collaborative learning. The approach involves active participation of both students and teachers, emphasizing knowledge exchange, based on widely used social media. Students were organized in groups and asked to adopt a specific bacterial genus and, subsequently, submit posts about “adopted genus”. The formative assessment is based on posting information on Facebook®, and the summative assessment involves presentation of seminars about the adopted theme. To evaluate the project, students filled out three anonymous and voluntary surveys. Most of the students enjoyed the activities and positively evaluated the experience. A large amount of students declared a change in their attitude towards the way they processed information, especially regarding the use of scientific sources. Finally, we evaluated knowledge retention six months after the end of the course and students were able to recall relevant Microbiology concepts. Our results suggest that the “Adopt a Bacterium” project represents a useful strategy in Microbiology learning and may be applied to other academic fields.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)942-948
Number of pages7
JournalBrazilian Journal of Microbiology
Volume49
Issue number4
Early online date24 Apr 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018

Keywords

  • Active learning
  • Microbiology education
  • Social Media

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    Piantola, M. A. F., Moreno, A. C. R., Matielo, H. A., Taschner, N. P., Cavalcante, R. C. M., Khan, S., & Ferreira, R. D. C. C. (2018). Adopt a Bacterium: an active and collaborative learning experience in microbiology based on social media. Brazilian Journal of Microbiology, 49(4), 942-948. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bjm.2018.04.005