bioCEED news

On bananas and writing skills among biology students

Karina Dale, PhD student at BIO, teaches in a series of colloquia aiming at giving students better skills in writing lab reports.

Writing skills among young biology students is often a subject for debates and discussions. The course BIO103 taught at the Department of Biological Sciences, UiB deals with this issue by offering a short series of colloquia aiming at giving bachelor students skills in reading scientific articles, and writing better lab reports and journals.

A few years ago, a new activity in the course was created, where students would write a short report based on an experiment performed by an assistant in front of their eyes, at the classroom. BIO103’s so-called “banana experiment” (in fact, DNA extraction on a banana, pine needles and a handful of soil) was born. The goal for the students: writing a 2-3 page-long report that contains the standard parts and elements of any scientific report. The goal for the course assistants: providing feedback on the content and quality of these individual reports, thus improving writing competence and confidence.

bioCEED contributed to this activity by realizing a short video (in Norwegian) introducing the goals of this exercise as well as the experiment itself. Karina Dale, PhD student at BIO and currently responsible for the colloquia series in BIO103, also participated to the video as an actress. The final product is now available here and further below.

This production is part of bioCEED’s effort to stimulate production and use of media-based teaching material. Short videos come handy not only when introducing subjects and curricula, but also when demonstrating lab and field methods.

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