From Scientific Research on Local Seaweeds to Science Classroom: Inquiry-Based Science Laboratory for Undergraduate Students

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We demonstrate a new inquiry-based laboratory for teaching and learning of enzyme kinetics which is a fundamental topic taught in undergraduate life science course. The laboratory designed for students was based on our scientific work concerning one type of enzymes (bromoperoxidases) from seaweeds which have great promise for biotechnological applications. In doing so students are more engaged in carrying out the experiment and researcher cum lab instructor has superior pedagogical content knowledge and is better responding to unexpected results because of experiences previously acquired from the conventional research. Our students had to perform the learning cycle activities which they learned more profoundly. Group of students were given background knowledge by the instructor and then were left themselves to plan their own experiments on factors influencing the rate of enzyme catalytic reaction. The results obtained then were compared and contrasted by the students themselves. From observation data, the students were enthusiasm, happiness and competitive spirit. The teaching assistants were asked only for help only briefly at the beginning and then later ignored by the students who more eager to collaborate and consult within the group and to see whether their results were similar or different from others. Naturally the instructor had to conduct a wrap-up consensus session and to clarify main points. This approach helped students develop more effective ways of interpretation of data themselves. Following the laboratory class, the students had to learn in-depth concepts in lecture. The results revealed that students followed the lecture better because they had a feel of what was being presented. From our innovations not only were post-test scores (36.96±6.71) significantly higher than pre-test scores (25.25±6.46) as expected but also students’ knowledge retention was much better than expected.

Keywords: Enzyme Kinetics, Innovation, Inquiry, Learning Cycle, Life Science, Undergraduate Science Laboratory
Stream: Technology in Learning; Maths, Science and Technology Learning
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: , , , From Research on Local Materials to the Learning of Science

Piyachat Jittam

Science Researcher, Biochemistry Faculty of Science & Institute for Innovation and Development of Learning Process, Mahidol University
Bangkok, Thailand

Piyachat Jittam is a science researcher at the Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Thailand. She is a Ph.D. candidate in science and technology education program of the Institute for Innnovation and Development of Learning Process, Mahidol University, Thailand, and also is a recipient of a fellowship from the InstituTe for Promoting Teaching Science and Teacnology. She is working on research project involving the development of a simple and rapid method to assay enzyme acitivity in seaweeds and then applies this research into instructional innnovation for teaching undergraduate science laboratory. She works collaborating with Richard K. Coll, a professor in Centre of Science and Technology Education Research, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand to conduct this research progect.

Pintip Ruenwongsa

Deputy Director, Institute for Innovation 
Development of Learning Process, Mahidol University

Bangkok, Thailand

Bhinyo Panijpan

Deputy, Institute for Innovation 
Development of Learning Process, Mahidol University

Bangkok, Thailand

Ref: L09P0713