- Group size: 3 students, 1st Year Biochemists
- Teaching context: Tutorials on SARS-COV-2
- Division: Medical Sciences
- Subject: Biochemistry
- Tools: Google drive, Google documents, Zoom, scientific Twitter discussions from academics, bioRxiv, blogs, virology channel, webinars, BibliU for online access to books
Flexible and inclusive features
Online access to resources from all platforms was available. These included research reviews, books, primary research papers, posters, data, figures, webinars and diagrams. The tutor set clear expectations, using examples and structured questions to guide students. There was equal participation from all students during the tutorial. Technology for communication was accessible to all students.
The tutor set foundation reading using a variety of media. From these materials, students were asked to choose from a series of papers on a weekly theme and to prepare a poster to present the ‘why, how and what’ of the research.
The students presented their posters for approximately 10 minutes each during the online Zoom tutorial. The tutor asked questions during and after each presentation in order to guide the students’ critiques of the research data and to synthesise a new research question.
Students developed valuable skills in reviewing strengths and limitations of primary research papers. The exploration of a very rapidly moving research area of high impact and importance was very meaningful for students and resulted in high level of engagement and an excellent learning environment. The students were also encouraged to explore a wide range of resources, including scientific debate on Twitter, in the scientific press and ongoing research within the University.
Time was limited in a one hour tutorial for discussions between students. However, discussion and debate between the tutor and student expertly modelled good practice for developing future live online discussions between students. Student interaction and discussion could occur before or after the tutorial using online discussion tools.
- Contributed by: Delia O’Rourke who observed Professor Petros Ligoxygakis and students