This module is adapted from BIOMAAP materials on the value of mistakes and application of growth mindset in a microbiology lab. Serial dilutions and understanding graphs are two fears that students at our community college struggle with in an introductory microbiology lab. Modifications of the BIOMAAP materials on value of mistakes and growth mindset were used to examine the changes in student mindsets as they progressed to work through serial dilutions and creating a figure legend for a graph. During the activity the students were allowed to work on simple to complex serial dilution problems with reflective opportunities and exposure to brain research describing our physiological response to mistakes. These in class formative assessments were designed to allow students to understand that making mistakes is a useful part of learning. BIOMAAP materials on growth mindset was also adapted as part of the Lab activity to expose students to the brain research that showed that growth mindset individuals pay more attention to mistakes, leading to better error correction and deeper learning.
The student activity is an interrupted short journaling assignment that students complete in class individually and in groups as they proceeded through the serial dilution calculations. This assignment goes well with the “Introduction to Growth Mindset” module of BIOMAAP.
This is limited to a freshmen microbiology Lab in a community college setting. The class size are small and student demographics range from traditional to non-traditional students, various ethnicities and first generation college going cohort.
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