A set of online virtual experimental scenarios for teaching developmental biology

  • Daniel Levin University of Manchester
  • Keith Brennan University of Manchester
  • Adam Hurlstone University of Manchester
  • Kathryn Hentges University of Manchester
Keywords: eLearning, Developmental Biology, Learning Development

Abstract

Teaching developmental biology to undergraduates can be complicated because it is a discipline most undergraduate students have never experienced before their first in-depth developmental biology course. This case study presents a set of online scenarios created to aid our students in learning developmental biology concepts, in which the student assumes the role of a postgraduate research student. These scenarios complement the course unit Principles of Developmental Biology taught to second-year undergraduate students. In each scenario students must work through experimental simulations and predict their results, answering a series of questions related to concepts taught in accompanying lectures or interpretations of data presented in the scenario. The scenarios focus on concepts common to developmental processes in animals. Additionally, one scenario is solely based on plant development. Student evaluations of these scenarios are very positive. Additionally, students report that working through the scenarios improves their knowledge of experimental techniques. Extending student knowledge of experimental protocols and data interpretation through eLearning approaches is an important addition to the course unit, as the unit is not supplemented by any specific laboratory work.

Author Biographies

Daniel Levin, University of Manchester
Faculty of Life Sciences, eLearning Technologist
Keith Brennan, University of Manchester
Faculty of Life Sciences, Professor
Adam Hurlstone, University of Manchester
Faculty of Life Sciences, Senior Lecturer
Kathryn Hentges, University of Manchester
Faculty of Life Sciences, Senior Lecturer
Published
2014-11-25
How to Cite
Levin, D., Brennan, K., Hurlstone, A. and Hentges, K. (2014) “A set of online virtual experimental scenarios for teaching developmental biology”, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. Plymouth, UK, 00. doi: 10.47408/jldhe.v0i0.284.