ASCB 2009 - Cell Biology Education
- 49th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology in San Diego, CA, December 5-9 2009.
A Cell Biology Education Online Group Project
This educational project takes advantage of the recent growth in online journal access, educational resources and online interactive editing.
A University of New South Wales undergraduate science course in cell biology (ANAT3231) has three main forms of assessment: individual, group and theory. For several years the group project had been a group prepared and presented poster on a group selected cell biology topic.
The new group project was the preparation of an equivalent online cell biology topic by 10 groups of 4 randomly selected students, as would occur in any future research environment. A Mediawiki server was installed locally, a new site established (http://cellbiology.med.unsw.edu.au/cellbiology), and access controlled using the existing university LDAP system.
Students selected a topic from a range of titles (http://cellbiology.med.unsw.edu.au/cellbiology/index.php?title=ANAT3231_Projects_2009), time was allocated in each week's practical class for group project work and projects could be worked on at any time outside class hours. Part of this laboratory time was allocated to instructor tutorials on: assessment criteria, reference searching, copyright, image uploading and online editing. Individual projects were designed as components of the group project. All online content is accessible, viewable and printable by all. Only currently enrolled students can edit content and also remain generally anonymous by student ID number. All project edits are automatically logged, can be undone and individual contributions can observed and assessed. A separate discussion page was available for group planning and interactions. After submission date, peer assessment and online comments were made of each project and the group was able to improve their final submission based upon this feedback. Student formal and informal feedback identified the key learning outcomes of improved: group project work, online collaboration, peer assessment and cell biology knowledge. The projects remain online and can be viewed by future students.