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Expanding a Learner-Centered Environment Using Group Reports and Constructivist Portfolios

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Author(s): Rosa J. Buxeda | Deborah A. Moore

Journal: Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education
ISSN 1935-7877

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Date: 2001;
Original page

ABSTRACT
A study was performed in the Microbial Physiology course to increase students’ self-awareness of their misconceptions, promote sound research techniques, develop written and oral communication skills, stimulate metacognition, and improve teamwork and interpersonal relationship skills. The transformation in the teaching methodology included using cooperative learning, field trips, and portfolios that targeted diverse learning styles to challenge students in creative ways and to help prepare them for future careers. The entire structure of the class was modified by introducing in-class portfolios to form a constructivist environment in which the discussion and lecture topic of the day were built on prior student knowledge. Based on evaluations, students were very pleased with the new teaching and learning process and learned more content than in the more traditional class. They also felt better able to reflect on their learning.
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