Science teaching resources at the Annual STEM Conference

In April the Biology Courses team talked about their science teaching resources and open education projects at three conferences in the UK.

The first was the first Higher Education Academy Annual STEM Conference in support of science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects. This was held at Imperial College, London, on 12-13th April 2012.

The team had one full presentation and one poster to talk about the “biology courses” project and how it is working with external collaborators to produce high-quality and exciting science teaching resources to benefit student education. The materials include patient case studies, laboratory data and images, all of which weren’t openly available for us to use in our teaching before this project started. The best bit is we can package these materials up into open educational resources (OER) and then share them around the world.

In the talk which lasted 30 minutes Dr Viv Rolfe explained how the project has established a number of local links for example with hospitals, the police and private sector companies. These relationships are mutually beneficial – yes, we get interesting learning materials and our external contacts get training materials for use with their own staff. For example, histology OER that we can use on our Biomedical Science and Medical Science degree programmes are also useful to trainee bioscientists in the hospital laboratories.

You’d have thought that setting up these partnerships would be a time consuming process? In fact, where I did imagine long discussions sorting out copyright and ownership of the materials, the individuals and their teams immediately understood the whole philosophy behind open education, and were more than happy to share their photographs, data and other materials under a Creative Commons License. Clearly, we look at every item very carefully to ensure that any patient data is confidential, and every photograph or video that may contain identifiable information is either not released, or we gain the permissions from those people photographed to use their picture for our project.

What has been interesting in working with local contacts are the unexpected benefits. Talking about open education has led to discussions about research, shared teaching and how we can work together at post-graduate level on masters programmes and sharing PhD students. You might therefore ask why haven’t universities done this before? Well we have of course. We collaborate externally all the time, but before the open education projects, discussions were hardly ever about sharing teaching and learning ideas. Unless you had funding or were established in a research field, you probably wouldn’t have had a reason to go knocking on people’s doors. So open education for me and the “Biology Courses” team has created a buzz in the local Leicester community and with local employers.

To view the slides on involving external partners in generating science teaching resources from the STEM conference, go to Slideshare:

http://www.slideshare.net/viv_rolfe/v-rolfe-stem-2012-employer-engagement-in-oer-12april2012

 

Biomedical Science and How to Use a Pipette

Biomedical science pipetting
Image: Microscopy open educational resources.
 
Creative Commons BY SA.

Content Authors:                     Level:

Dr Graham Basten                                 School, College, University, General interest

OER Features: (bundle of 7 resources)

Biomedical science resources: Different Types of Pipette

Biomedical science resources: Pi-Pump Pipette

Biomedical science resources: Micropipettes

Transcript of videos PDF file

Transcript of videos Word file

Multiple choice quiz PDF file

Multiple choice quiz Word file

OER Description:

In the biomedical science laboratory, the pipette is a fundamental piece of equipment that is used routinely for the dispensing of liquids, and pipetting is a skill that takes time to acquire and perfect. There are very few procedures in the laboratory that do not require the addition of a liquid or a solution at some point, from applying stains in histology, to carrying out a spectrophotometer assay.

There are several different types of pipette and each is used in a different situation. You might only require a quick and rough application of a liquid for example to wash a stain off a histology glass slide, so a plastic pipette would suffice. However, if you were performing an assay that was going to give you accurate numbers for the concentration of say glucose in the blood, then a more accurate type of pipette such as a micropipette would be required. Other procedures for example genetic techniques might require the pipetting of tiny amounts would also require very small volume micropipettes to use.

These OERs are a series of 3 videos by Dr Graham Basten explaining the three different type of pipettes and when it is appropriate to use them in the biomedical science laboratory. The other resources include a full transcript of all 3 videos and a short set of multiple choice questions written by Biomedical Science students for release as open educational resources (OERs).

Biomedical Science Laboratory Photographs

Image: Laboratory safety open educational resources
Creative Commons BY-SA (3.0)

Content Authors:                            Level:

Dr Viv Rolfe                                                       School, College, University, General interest

OER Features:

Laboratory safety photo gallery on Flickr

Spectrophotometry photo gallery on Flickr

Microbiology photo gallery on Flickr

 

OER Description:

We have uploaded three sets of biomedical science laboratory photographs onto FLICKR for your use and reuse.

The first is a set of images relating to laboratory safety. In the lab the understanding and compliance of health and safety procedures is hugely important for the safety of the individual and others working there. Here is a bundle of photographs illustrating safety signage, protective equipment and waste disposal equipment that you can use and reuse in either your own studies or to compile your own educational resources.

The second set relates to the use of the spectrophotometer and illustrations of a simple assay that we conducted as part of one of our other open educational resources. The photographs for example illustrate how to correctly place a cuvette into the machine, obtain readings, and how to prepare the relevant samples for an assay including a blank, standards of known concentrations and unknown samples.

The final set is relating to microbiology.

Feel free to use these biomedical science resources under the following Creative Commons license terms:

BY – by means please attribute us – De Montfort University HALSOER Project

SA – means if you adapt, crop or alter the images, please share alike – or share back what you have developed.