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Classic Research Articles as Classroom Texts for PBL in Undergraduate Biochemistry Hal White Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry University of Delaware.

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Presentation on theme: "Classic Research Articles as Classroom Texts for PBL in Undergraduate Biochemistry Hal White Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry University of Delaware."— Presentation transcript:

1 Classic Research Articles as Classroom Texts for PBL in Undergraduate Biochemistry Hal White Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry University of Delaware 16 June 2012 University of Michigan – Dearborn ASBMB NSF-RCN Meeting

2 Introductory Science Courses Stereotype 1. Lecture format that is content-driven. 2. Abstract concepts introduced before concrete examples. 3. Enrollments often more than 100. 4. Limited student-faculty interaction. 5. Grading based on a few multiple choice examinations that emphasize recall of information. 6. Reinforce intellectually immature students to a naïve view of knowledge.

3 Common Features of a Problem-Based Approach to Learning Learning is initiated by a problem Problems are based on real-life, open-ended situations, sometimes messy and ill-defined. Students identify and find the information necessary to solve the problem using appropriate resources. Students work in small permanent groups with access to an instructor. Learning is active, integrated, cumulative, and connected.

4 What Does a PBL Classroom Look Like?

5 Overview of This Presentation The Case for Classic Articles as PBL Problems Example of an Article-Based Course Experience a Classic Article Problem Designing a Course Around Classic Articles Student Response

6 Characteristics of Good PBL Problems Engage interest Require decision and judgment Need full group participation Open-ended or controversial Connected to prior knowledge Incorporate content objectives

7 Classic Articles as PBL Problems Advantages Authentic (not contrived) Complex Relevant to the Discipline Introduce Important Historical Figures Encourage use of Internet Resources

8 Science as Literature? There is no form of prose more difficult to understand and more tedious to read that the average scientific paper. Francis Crick (1995)

9 Science as Literature? I am absolutely convinced that science is vastly more stimulating to the imagination than are the classics, but the products of this stimulus do not normally see the light of day because scientific men as a class are devoid of any perception of literary form J. B. S. Haldane

10 Introduction to Biochemistry Relation to Other Science Courses Biochemistry Biology Chemistry PhysicsMathematics Provides the relevance Provides the methods and molecular perspective Provides the means to evaluate and predict Provides physical models

11 Introduction to Biochemistry Evolution of the Course 1970's Course for non-science majors based on Herman Epsteins model. 1989 Modified course initiated as part of a new B.S. Biochemistry curriculum. 1993 Problem-Based Learning format introduced. 1996 Undergraduate Tutor-Facilitators used for the first time.

12 Introduction to Biochemistry: An Article-Based PBL Course 3 Credits, No Laboratory, 8:00 AM MWF Theme - Hemoglobin and Sickle Cell Anemia First Biochemistry Course for Sophomore Biochemistry Majors Required for the Major Taught in a PBL Classroom Enrollment 20 - 35 Uses Juniors and Seniors as Group Facilitators

13 Stokes (1864) Spectroscopy Solvent Extraction Zinoffsky (1886) Elemental Analysis Bohr et al (1904) Gas Laws Herrick (1910) Medical Case Diggs et al (1934) Epidemiology Peters (1912) Stoichiometry Conant (1923) Electrochemistry Pauling & C (1936) Magnetic Properties Adair (1925) Osmometry Svedberg & F (1926) Sedimentation Eq Individual and Group MidTerm Exam Classic Hemoglobin Articles Read Before Spring Break Concept Maps Home Groups Produce Jigsaw Groups

14 Individual and Group Final Exam Dintzis (1961) Direction Protein Syn Pauling et al (1949) Electrophoresis Ingram (1958/59) Peptide Sequencing Allison (1954) Malaria Resistance Shemin & R (1946) Heme Biosynthesis Hemoglobinopathy Assignment Genetic Mutations Protein Structure Classic Hemoglobin Articles Read After Spring Break Group Work Individual Project

15 Course Timeline 1850190019502000 Stokes Zinoffsky Adair Peters Pauling + Pauling et al. Ingram Allison Hemoglobinopathy Assignment Before Midterm Diggs Bohr Shemin Dintzis After Midterm Herrick Conant Svedberg

16 Introduction to Biochemistry Course Description Heterogeneous groups of 4 discuss and work to understand about ten classic articles. Articles presented in historical context, show the development of scientific understanding of protein structure and genetic disease. Assignments and examinations emphasize conceptual understanding. Instructor monitors progress, supervises tutors, presents demonstrations, and leads whole class discussions to summarize each article.

17 Introduction to Biochemistry Instructional Goals For Students 1.Become intellectually independent learners 2.Recognize and confront areas of personal ignorance 3.Review and apply chemical, biological, physical, and mathematical principles in a biochemical context 4.Improve problem-solving skills 5.Create, understand, and value abstract biochemical models 6.See biochemistry in relevant historical and societal contexts 7.Discover and use the resources of the library and the Internet 8.Gain confidence in reading and understanding scientific articles 9.Experience the powers (and pitfalls) of collaborative work 10.Appreciate importance of clear oral and written communication 11.Learn to organize logical arguments based on evidence

18 Sir George Gabriel Stokes (1819-1903) became Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge in 1849. This prestigious professorship once was held by Sir Isaac Newton and now is held by Stephen Hawking. Like Newton, Stokes served both as president of the Royal Society (1885) and as a conservative member of Parliament (1887-1892) Author of the first article students read. Known for: Stokes Law Stokes Radius Stokes Reagent Stokes Shift

19 Instructions for Stokes (1864) In groups of two or three, consider the introductory section of the Stokes (1864) article. Assignment: Make a list of the concepts and facts that your students would need to know (or review) in order to understand this section.

20 Oxidation and Reduction of Hemoglobin CHEM-342 Introduction to Biochemistry

21 Question for Group Work on Midterm Examination Prof. Essigsaure returned to his lab one night to prepare for a lecture demonstration based on the experiment presented in the second paragraph of Section 11 in Stokes 1864 article. Within minutes he was looking high and low for the glacial acetic acid and mumbling angrily about associates who dont replace the things they use up. Frustrated, but undaunted, he figured any acid would do and substituted concentrated hydrochloric acid. After all, he reasoned, a stronger acid should work even better. Not so. Sure enough the hemoglobin solution turned brown immediately upon addition of HCl but, much to his initial puzzlement, the resulting hematin did not extract into the ether layer. Explain in chemical terms why HCl cannot be substituted for glacial acetic acid in this experiment. Draw chemical structures and diagrams to support your argument. If you are uncertain of the explanation, please outline the possibilities you have considered or how you analyzed the problem.

22 Scarlet CruorinePurple Cruorine Brown Hematin Red Hematin O2O2 + O 2 +H 2 CO 3 H2OH2O Irreversible Reducing Agents Oxidized Products O2O2 Reducing Agents Acid, Heat, Organic Solvents Albuminous Precipitate Acid, Heat, Organic Solvents Reversible Irreversible Decomposition Conceptual model for the reactions of cruorine described by Stokes. The color of the squares corresponds to the spectral properties of the compound involved. Conceptual Representation of the Stokes (1864) Article

23 Reversible Reduction of Oxyhemoglobin Add a small amount of sodium dithionite, Na 2 S 2 O 4 Stir in the presence of air

24 O 2 (g) O 2 (l) HbO 2 Hb SnIISnIV H2OH2O Air Water 2. Shaking, rapid transfer 1. Diffusion, very slow transfer Reversible binding Irreversible oxidation Constructing Models to Explain Observations slow rapid

25 Introduction to Biochemistry Student Assignments Write an Abstract Construct a Concept Map Draw an Appropriate Illustration Critique from a Modern Perspective Find out about the Author Explore a Cited Reference

26 BLOOD Plasma Clotting Factors Fibrinogen Colored Compound Absorption Spectra Spectroscope Red Blood Cells O2O2 Oxyhemoglobin (Scarlet Cruorine) Deoxyhemoglobin (Purple Cruorine) Arterial Blood Venous Blood Brown Hematin Heme Anionic Hematin Protein Precipitate OXYGENATION AND DEOXYGENATION BLOOD TRANSPORT OF OXYGEN HEMATIN FORMATION AND SEPARATION OXIDATION AND REDUCTION REACTIONS CELLULAR RESPIRATION CHEMISTRY BIOLOGY H 2 CO 3 H2OH2O Reducing Agents Oxidized Products Acid Ether Aqueous Base Reduced Carbon (Food) Carbon Dioxide Sn II Fe II Fe III Colorless Product Tartaric Acid Indigo Sn IV WaterOxygen irreversible slow fast Stabilized by 2H + Spontaneously reacts with oxygen forming Heat, Acid, Ethanol decomposition to form Reversible dissociation Mimics In lungs In tissues Lyse in water to release Contains Has a distinctive Observable with a Which includes Such as Is a Soluble in Concept map illustrating the relationships among significant words and ideas in Stokes 1864 article.

27 Group Quizzes with IFAT ® Answer Sheets Multiple Choice Format Lottery Ticket Design Immediate Feedback Partial Credit Tremendous Discussion Stimulator Students Like It Potential for Multiple Use BAMBED 33, 261-2 (2005)

28 Allison, A. C., (1954) Brit. Med. J. 1, 290-294 Protection Afforded by Sickle-Cell Trait Against Subtertian Malarial Infection. Question for group consideration and subsequent class discussion: How might you demonstrate that people carrying one allele for sickle cell hemoglobin have increased resistance to malaria?

29 Introduction to Biochemistry Student Perceptions 1995-2004 A. Consider items 1 through 12 and rate them with respect to how important they are for success in CHEM-342, Introduction to Biochemistry. (1 = Extremely Important to 5 = Not Important; N = 263 out of 268)

30 Introduction to Biochemistry Student Perceptions 1995-2004 B. Consider the items 1 through 12 in relation to other science courses. Circle those items which, in your experience, are more important in CHEM-342 than in most other science courses you have taken. (N=263)

31 Effect of Facilitators on Attendance Attendance before facilitators: 91.1% Attendance after facilitators: 94.1% (32% reduction in absences) Allen & White (2001). In, Student-Assisted Teaching, Miller, Groccia & Miller, Eds. Bolton, MA: Anchor.

32 Effect of Facilitators on Effort Hours before facilitators: 4.8 per week Hours after facilitators: 6.0 per week (25% increase in time spent on course work outside of class) Allen & White (2001). In, Student-Assisted Teaching, Miller, Groccia & Miller, Eds. Bolton, MA: Anchor.

33 Performance Comparison on 21-item Pre-post Test on Chemistry Concepts Important in Biochemistry Ave 9.60 12.92 Sophomore PBL Course Upper-Level Lecture Survey Fall 2010

34 Course Elements Gains All Others CHEM-342 Students CURE Survey Results


36 Course Web-Site Introduction to Biochemistry

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