Attack of the Killer Fungus: A Hypothesis-Driven Lab Module

Journal of microbiology & biology education : JMBE 12/2013; 14(2):230-7. DOI: 10.1128/jmbe.v14i2.612
Source: PubMed


Discovery-driven experiments in undergraduate laboratory courses have been shown to increase student learning and critical thinking abilities. To this end, a lab module involving worm capture by a nematophagous fungus was developed. The goals of this module are to enhance scientific understanding of the regulation of worm capture by soil-dwelling fungi and for students to attain a set of established learning goals, including the ability to develop a testable hypothesis and search for primary literature for data analysis, among others. Students in a ten-week majors lab course completed the lab module and generated novel data as well as data that agrees with the published literature. In addition, learning gains were achieved as seen through a pre-module and post-module test, student self-assessment, class exam, and lab report. Overall, this lab module enables students to become active participants in the scientific method while contributing to the understanding of an ecologically relevant model organism.

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