Archive for May 15th, 2006

CaseBook: A Problem-Based Learning Online Environment For High School Microbiology

Problem-based learning (PBL) is an educational approach that allows students to improve problem solving and critical thinking skills while learning science. However, PBL requires significant teacher time and expertise to develop problems and facilitate small-group problem-solving sessions. With advances in technology, PBL can be used in today’s classrooms in an effective and scalable manner.

CaseBook is an interactive computer system that allows for easy integration of PBL into the K-16 curriculum. Through a simple web-based interface, teachers enter and edit their case materials. As students work through cases, CaseBook guides them through a 3-stage process in which they analyze, learn and reflect. Students may work independently, or a small group of students may work together and share a Team Notebook, which is used to record facts, ideas, and issues about the case as they progress. Students assess their progress through self and group reflection and through teacher feedback.

We report on the use of CaseBook for a microbiology case in a high school classroom. The results suggest that CaseBook is effective for both advanced and remedial students. As the technological capacity of students and classrooms increase, it is only appropriate to use this technology to implement novel methods of teaching that will provide students the skills they need post- graduation.

Read the paper:

CaseBook: A Problem-Based Learning Online Environment For High School Microbiology

by JL Holzman, G Louizi, SC Fowler, E Lindsey, JJ Harrigan, P Ram, A Ram

12th American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Conference for Undergraduate Educators, Atlanta, GA, May 2006