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Title: Microbiology at Home (M@H): an Online, Self-Paced Solution To Enhance Practical Skills in Foundation Microbiology
Contributor(s): Winter, Gal  (author)orcid ; Ketheesan, Natkunam  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2023-08
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1128/jmbe.00024-23
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The online education market share is rapidly increasing, raising the demand to teach sciences outside the laboratory environment. Here, we present Microbiology at Home (M@H), a new approach that integrates hands-on microbiology experimentation with online interactive simulations using authentic scenarios in microbiology in the home environment. The M@H program includes 8 practical activities aligned to the ASM curriculum for practical skills. M@H kits are mailed to students, and each practical activity is prepacked individually with the required consumables, including microbial culture media to prepare at home using a microwave. These practicals are self-paced, and each activity is facilitated using a two-dimensional simulation package with prerecorded videos, protocols, and interactive activities. The students receive both synchronous and asynchronous support and guidance through online learning management systems fora and virtual gatherings. The M@H program was applied to an Introductory Microbiology cohort at the University of New England in 2020 and 2021. Based on student feedback, the experience not only provided real hands-on practice in microbiology but also acted to cement the engagement with the content by contextualizing it to the surrounding home environment. We anticipate that these activities will provide a way to successfully engage students with hands-on microbiology without the need for actual laboratory attendance, thus increasing accessibility to microbial protocols and applications.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education, 24(2), p. 1-5
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Place of Publication: United State of America
ISSN: 1935-7885
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 3202 Clinical sciences
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Science and Technology

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