Using Project EDDIE modules in Microbiology (BIO 2300)
About this Course
Microbiology (BIO 2300)
EDDIE Module Developed
This module will help students explore the environmental impacts of sewage spills on bodies of water. Sewage spills are not only a human health hazard due to the release of waste and microbes, but can also increase algae growth and lead to disruption of the ecosystem.
Relationship of EDDIE Module(s) to my Course
This module explores impacts of sewage spills in bodies on water and the ecosystem. Water quality is a major topic in microbiology due to the issues water-borne diseases can cause. Students were able to explore real data to gain a better understanding of how microbial populations can rapidly increase and pose a risk to humans and the ecosystem. They were also able to apply their knowledge of the bacteria counting techniques they learned in class to authentic research.
This module was scheduled after students learned about the types of microbes and the methods of estimating bacteria populations. Students were assigned background reading on the topic and given a Microsoft Excel practice assignment to prepare for the activity.
What key suggestions would you give to a colleague before they used the activity in their teaching?
I would recommend that instructors make sure their students are comfortable with using Microsoft Excel. Otherwise, the activity will be more focused on an Excel activity and not on the data. You may also review the microbiology sampling techniques to explain to students how bacteria populations are estimated in a sample.
How did you address challenges in teaching with the module?
My students struggled the most with using Microsoft Excel. I spend a lot of time assisting them.
This module was great starting point for students to incorporate quantitative reasoning. My students will greatly improve over time with more opportunities to work with many data sets.
Students were frustrated initially, but I think this was an opportunity for them to learn about the quantitative nature of science. Science is built upon on data, but often lecture classes focus on memorization and not reasoning. My microbiology lecture course does not have much data analytics, so students were starting from scratch with this project. I think over time and with other modules, they will gain more confidence in their ability to analyze data.