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web authoring as a pedagogic tool
web authoring as a pedagogic tool
web authoring as a pedagogic tool
web authoring as a pedagogic tool
web authoring as a pedagogic tool
web authoring as a pedagogic tool
web authoring as a pedagogic tool
web authoring as a pedagogic tool
web authoring as a pedagogic tool
web authoring as a pedagogic tool
web authoring as a pedagogic tool
web authoring as a pedagogic tool
web authoring as a pedagogic tool
web authoring as a pedagogic tool
web authoring as a pedagogic tool
web authoring as a pedagogic tool
web authoring as a pedagogic tool
web authoring as a pedagogic tool
web authoring as a pedagogic tool
web authoring as a pedagogic tool
web authoring as a pedagogic tool
web authoring as a pedagogic tool
web authoring as a pedagogic tool
web authoring as a pedagogic tool
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web authoring as a pedagogic tool

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This talk "Web authoring as a pedagogic tool: an example from the biosciences" by Chris Willmott and Jane Wellens was given at the Pushing the Boundaries event in January 2006. The slides describe an …

This talk "Web authoring as a pedagogic tool: an example from the biosciences" by Chris Willmott and Jane Wellens was given at the Pushing the Boundaries event in January 2006. The slides describe an activity in which second year undergraduates were asked to produce websites about various bioethical issues. This activity was also described in a paper Willmott CJR and Wellens J (2004) Teaching about bioethics through authoring of websites Journal of biological Education 39:27-31.

More recently we have actually replaced this task with an activity in which students produce videos on bioethical topics (see other slideshare presentations or a chronological list at http://lefthandedbiochemist.wordpress.com/talks/). These slides have recently been added here for completion - the site where they were previously available having gone off-line.

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  • 1. Pushing the Boundaries 2006 Dr Chris Willmott* and Dr Jane Wellens † Web authoring as a pedagogic tool an example from the biosciences * Dept of Biochemistry, and † Staff Development Unit University of Leicester [email_address] University of Leicester
  • 2. The Activity <ul><li>Students work in teams of 4-5 to produce a website reviewing other web-based materials on a specified bioethical topic </li></ul><ul><li>Should include a background briefing on science underlying the issue and fairly reflect the diversity of informed ethical opinion on the topic </li></ul><ul><li>Also give a 15 min presentation of their site to peers </li></ul>University of Leicester
  • 3. Why bioethics? <ul><li>Concerns issues at the “cutting edge” of biology </li></ul><ul><li>Issues frequently in popular press, impact of new biological &amp; medical developments in wider society </li></ul><ul><li>QAA Benchmarking statements (2002) make nine specific recommendations re ethics teaching in biology </li></ul>BUT… methodology applicable to broad range of topics University of Leicester
  • 4. The Context <ul><li>“ Targeting biochemical knowledge to medical problems” </li></ul><ul><li>Core for medical biochemists (~ 30) </li></ul><ul><li>Optional study skills module for medics (~ 10) </li></ul><ul><li>Run annually since 2002 - Specific discussion of cohorts in 2002 and 2003 </li></ul>University of Leicester
  • 5. Aims and Objectives <ul><li>Appreciate the science underlying a current controversial development in biomedicine </li></ul><ul><li>Recognise the diversity of ethical opinion regarding the development of a current controversial development in biomedicine </li></ul><ul><li>Distinguish the veracity of different web-based resources </li></ul><ul><li>Use web-authoring software </li></ul><ul><li>Work as a member of a team </li></ul><ul><li>Present their website to peers </li></ul>University of Leicester
  • 6. Tasks within project <ul><li>Include: </li></ul><ul><li>Researching info on the WWW </li></ul><ul><li>Deciding which sites to include </li></ul><ul><li>Deciding on criteria for rating websites, and applying appropriate scoring system </li></ul><ul><li>Designing their website </li></ul><ul><li>Implementing the design </li></ul>University of Leicester
  • 7. Example criteria used by students <ul><li>Visual appearance </li></ul><ul><li>Ease of navigation </li></ul><ul><li>Quality of information </li></ul><ul><li>Relevance of information </li></ul><ul><li>Links and references </li></ul><ul><li>Bias? </li></ul>University of Leicester
  • 8. Topics (2003) <ul><li>Genetic patenting </li></ul><ul><li>Therapeutic cloning and stem cell research </li></ul><ul><li>Use of human material (inc foetal tissue) </li></ul><ul><li>Genetic screening (inc PGD) </li></ul><ul><li>Clinical trials (inc use of placebos) </li></ul><ul><li>Use of animals in research &amp; alternatives </li></ul><ul><li>Healthcare and developing countries </li></ul><ul><li>Gene therapy </li></ul><ul><li>Xenotransplantation </li></ul>University of Leicester
  • 9. Assessment of exercise <ul><li>66% for the website </li></ul><ul><li>34% for the presentation </li></ul><ul><li>Peer assessment to weight allocation of marks within a team (adapted from Conway et al , 1993) </li></ul><ul><li>Contributing overall 20% to mark for module </li></ul>University of Leicester
  • 10. Weighting students’ contributions <ul><li>Each student awards a mark of 1 to 5 to each member of their team (inc themselves) for a number of different criteria </li></ul><ul><li>Average mark (= A): </li></ul><ul><li>Grand total (all scores for all students in team) Number of student in team </li></ul><ul><li>Individual student total (= B): </li></ul><ul><li>Sum of all that student’s scores awarded by all team members (inc themselves) </li></ul><ul><li>Weighting for individual student: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Individual total (B) Average mark (A) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>University of Leicester
  • 11. Potential problems <ul><li>We have found this system to work well, but… </li></ul><ul><li>An individual making a large contribution to a high scoring project can theoretically score &gt;100% </li></ul><ul><li>A student doing no work receives some credit </li></ul>University of Leicester
  • 12. Training - lecture <ul><li>Recognise different features of well-known websites (Uni homepage, BBC, Amazon, Guardian) </li></ul><ul><li>Practical advice on authoring web pages (using Microsoft FrontPage), including: - designing a page - developing a page into a web - a quick look at some simple HTML </li></ul><ul><li>Tips, tricks and warnings </li></ul><ul><li>Details of assessed activity </li></ul>University of Leicester
  • 13. Training – hands-on exercise <ul><li>Instructions e-mailed to students </li></ul><ul><li>2 hr session, supervised </li></ul><ul><li>Asked to produce simple website, inc - absolute links (to WWW) - relative links (within web) - copy, paste and format text - copy and paste images </li></ul><ul><li>Compress as zipped folder and e-mail to me </li></ul><ul><li>Receive rapid feedback (formative) </li></ul>University of Leicester
  • 14. Feedback on training “ I have never tried anything like this before and I could actually do it, which I didn’t expect!” “ I’d always thought that designing a web page would be a very difficult thing, but the step-by-step instructions made the hole (sic) thing very painless and easy to understand. The lecture last week was a great introduction to web-design, so that coming to this practical. I had some idea what I was doing. Thanks very much A*” “ This was a very useful exercise because I had no idea before where to start if I wanted to design a web page, but it is something that I wanted to be able to do.” University of Leicester
  • 15. Evaluation by participants Questionnaire-based survey before and after activity in 2002 and 2003 (n = 69, score out of 10) Ability to produce a website (after) = 7.1 out of 10 Only 11 out of 72 had any prior experience + 0.38 6.51 6.13 Interest in Web authoring + 1.04 6.84 5.80 Interest in Bioethics + 4.08 6.61 2.53 Knowledge about Bioethics Change After Before Category
  • 16. Bioethics issues listed by students * % of cohort citing topic (only topics mentioned by &gt; 50% on at least one occasion are included) 73.7 2.7 44.1 5.7 Use of human tissue/organs 73.7 37.8 85.3 48.6 Animal expts/testing 29.0 89.2 50.0 77.1 Cloning 68.4 0 35.3 0 Gene patenting 61.8 67.7 44.1 2002 After 55.3 5.4 5.7 Gene therapy 29.0 2.7 14.3 Genetic screening 92.1 10.8 25.7* Xenotransplantation 2003 After 2003 Before 2002 Before Topic
  • 17. Topics identified in first place Xenotransplantation (13) Use of stem cells (5) Gene therapy (4) Gene patenting (3) 2003 (after) Cloning (19) Animal experiments (5) Euthanasia (3) 2003 (before) Gene therapy (7) Animal experiments (5) Xenotransplantation (4) Genetic screening (5) Gene patenting (3) 2002 (after) Cloning (16) Animal experiments (4) Gen engin./modfictn (3) Xenotransplantation (3) 2002 (before)
  • 18. Bioethics issues listed by students * % of cohort citing topic (only topics mentioned by &gt; 50% on at least one occasion are included) 73.7 2.7 44.1 5.7 Use of human tissue/organs 73.7 37.8 85.3 48.6 Animal expts/testing 29.0 89.2 50.0 77.1 Cloning 68.4 0 35.3 0 Gene patenting 61.8 67.7 44.1 2002 After 55.3 5.4 5.7 Gene therapy 29.0 2.7 14.3 Genetic screening 92.1 10.8 25.7* Xenotransplantation 2003 After 2003 Before 2002 Before Topic
  • 19. Influential news? University of Leicester
  • 20. Influential news? University of Leicester
  • 21. Examples student websites <ul><li>Developing countries (2005) </li></ul><ul><li>Human material (2002) </li></ul><ul><li>Human material (2005) </li></ul><ul><li>Pharmacogenetics (2005) </li></ul><ul><li>Stem cells (2004) </li></ul><ul><li>Xenotransplantation (2003) </li></ul><ul><li>Xenotransplantation (2004) </li></ul>University of Leicester
  • 22. Web-authoring v. Essay-writing? <ul><li>Both involve traditionally important skills, e.g. </li></ul><ul><li>Seeking out appropriate sources </li></ul><ul><li>Appraisal and incorporation of relevant material </li></ul><ul><li>In addition, web-authoring offers: </li></ul><ul><li>Real-world engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Acquisition of new and different skills </li></ul><ul><li>Greater element of design and layout </li></ul><ul><li>More fun? </li></ul>University of Leicester
  • 23. Questions for further consideration <ul><li>To what extent are web-authoring and other e-activities more appropriate tasks than essay writing for 21 st Century citizens? </li></ul><ul><li>How can we help students to distinguish between “good” and “dubious” online sources? </li></ul>University of Leicester
  • 24. References Conway R., Kember D., Sivah A. and Wu M. (1993) Peer assessment of an individual’s contribution to group project Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education 18 :45-56 QAA (2002) The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education Benchmarking academic standards: Bioscience http://www.qaa.ac.uk/academicinfrastructure/benchmark/honours/biosciences.pdf (accessed 5 Jan 2006) Willmott C.J.R. and Wellens J. (2004) Teaching about bioethics through authoring of websites Journal of Biological Education 39 :27-31 University of Leicester

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