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Reading and Discussing Popular Media to Increase SEA-PHAGES Student Engagement

Author(s): Allison A Johnson, Daniel Eric Westholm, Nathan s Reyna1

Ouachita Baptist Univeristy

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Summary:
This module introduces ways for students to connect their SEA-PHAGES work and real life medical trials with events presented in Arrowsmith, Sinclair Lewis’s 1925 Pulitzer prize winning novel on phage therapy. Here we present ways to incorporate…

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This module introduces ways for students to connect their SEA-PHAGES work and real life medical trials with events presented in Arrowsmith, Sinclair Lewis’s 1925 Pulitzer prize winning novel on phage therapy. Here we present ways to incorporate discussion

Licensed under CC Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International according to these terms

Version 1.0 - published on 16 Sep 2021 doi:10.25334/J00D-4W57 - cite this

Description

Learning objectives:  

After completing this module, students should be able to:

  • Recognize the timelessness and power of foundational microbiology techniques

  • Understand the limitations of microbiology field at the time of original phage discovery

  • Evaluate the ethical considerations when conducting medical trials, particularly the use of control groups during an epidemic

  • Evaluate the potential for prophylactic phage therapy

 

How is the module structured to promote student development as a scientist?  

Student participation in this module assists in the attainment of the goal to “teach students to become a scientist” as described by Hanauer.  In the activities related to this module, students are asked to evaluate the merits and limitations of scientific study design and data collection, skills needed by any practicing scientist.  In addition, this module also addresses “Teaching procedural knowledge”, and connects modern methods with an early publication in phage discovery. The module uses a scientific publication from 1931 describing one of the first discoveries of bacteriophage using Bacillus anthracis as a host. This paper was published near the publication time of the novel Arrowsmith, and allows students to compare their experience with a scientific publication and a novel describing similar work.

 

Intended Teaching Setting

Course level:  Non-majors, majors, first-year students, and upper division students

Instructional Setting:  In-person classroom or online

Implementation Time Frame:  Flexible. For Arrowsmith reading discussion, 2 hours class time, plus additional outside class preparation (~100 pages reading, plus discussion prompts.  Can reduce or increase amount of chapters). For journal article, approximately 1 hour of classroom discussion plus outside class preparation work.

 

Acknowledgments:  George Killough, faculty emeritus, The College of St. Scholastica

 

Project Documents

Facilitator document: 

0-Arrowsmith Teaching Guide

Learning activity document(s):  

1-Slides for Arrowsmith class presentation and discussion

2-Slides for 1931 B anthracis phage discovery QUBES module.pptx

3-Scientific literature: 1931 Cowles J Bacteriology.pdf

Assessment document(s): 

4-Arrowsmith Assignment #1

5-Arrowsmith Assignment #2

6-Journal Club 1931 B anthracis phage discovery Question Set

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