|Title||Why do I need to learn this? Inspiring first year students|
A common problem in teaching first year students is engaging their curiosity and stimulating their desire to learn. Many students associate their need to know something with marks which might be earned, which at times can undermine their own learning. Students are not always aware of why they need to know basic physiology before they reach the stage of being able to apply their knowledge. In an attempt to inspire a sense of excitement an enquiry-based learning session was run in order to persuade the students to see what lies beyond their current knowledge and to want to get there. The reproductive system was chosen because all students know something about and have an interest in it, either from their earlier academic studies or via sex education. The session began by attention being drawn to what they all knew and was followed up by some deeper questions and students were encouraged to pose their own questions that they may have wondered about. Students were then asked to pick one or two that aroused their interest and they worked in groups or pairs, using resources of their choice to see if they could find out some answers or, better still, some other questions that will need to be answered before they could answer their question. Students then reconvened for a plenary session. Responses were overwhelmingly positive. Students made comments such as ‘I’ll need to learn a lot more before I can understand this’ and ‘I hadn’t realised how clever the body is’. The aim was to motivate the students to see how knowing more about basic physiological concepts would help them understand something that they want to know more about, and they left the session primed and ready to engage in the module.
|Conference||Effective Learning in the Biosciences|