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FEBS Open Bio. 2018 Mar 15;8(4):494-501. doi: 10.1002/2211-5463.12409. eCollection 2018 Apr.

Monitoring how changes in pedagogical practices have improved student interest and performance for an introductory biochemistry course.

Author information

1
Faculté des Sciences Université d'Artois Lens France.
2
LBHE, Université d'Artois Lens France.
3
RECIFES, Université d'Artois Arras France.
4
SUP Artois Université d'Artois Arras France.
5
Faculté des Sports, Université d'Artois Liévin France.

Abstract

This study describes feedback on the effects of changes introduced in our teaching practices for an introductory biochemistry course in the Life Sciences curriculum. Students on this course have diverse educational qualifications and are taught in large learning groups, creating challenges for the management of individual learning. We used the constructive alignment principle, refining the learning contract and re-drafting the teaching program to introduce active learning and an organization of activities that promotes the participation of all the students and helps their understanding. We also created teaching resources available through the university virtual work environment. Our research aimed to measure the effects of those changes on the students' success. Monitoring of the student performance showed a continuous increase in the percentage of students who passed the course, from 2.13% to 33.5% in 4 years. Analysis of student perceptions highlighted that the teaching methodology was greatly appreciated by the students, whose attendance also improved. The recent introduction of clickers-questions constituted a complementary leverage. The active involvement of the students and better results for summative assessments are altogether a strong motivation for teaching staff to continue to make improvements.

KEYWORDS:

biochemistry; innovation; learning; pedagogical practices

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