3.3 Bringing experiential learning into the lecture theatre

This session will demonstrate how to engage through the use of 3D objects can be used in learning.

A mini version of the experience outlined below will be delivered. Attendees will be asked about their knowledge of biomolecules (it is hoped and expected this will be at GCSE level). Objects (DNA models) will be handed around and attendees will be asked to identify features. Their observations will be shared in the group.

Paper Background: Core to all degree streams within Bioscience are the concepts of interactions between objects (biomolecular structures). As such teaching methods relying on traditional PowerPoint presentations can display these biomolecules as flat 2D representations. Many of the concepts require an understanding of function in 3D understanding. Although some students have the ability to picture 3D objects in their minds eye this is not true for all. 3D scale molecular models where included into the lecture format as a form of experiential learning. These activities were supplemented with standard lecture slides containing animations and movies and e-learning based resources.

Thinking: New concepts were introduced through the use of ICT. Media animations, web based content and strong links to core texts were used.
Doing: A range of activities were utilised to engage the students with the models and allow them to apply their new knowledge through self-directed small group discussions.
Feeling: In order for the students to take owner ship of the knowledge specific situations and examples were used for the students to see where their learning could be applied.
Reflecting: Finally the students are given time and encouraged to writing in their own words the key points and theories that have been discussed.

This approach resulted in high level of student engagement in the sessions and student feedback was highly positive.