Education Sharing our Ethnobotany Curriculum: the Open Science Approach
McClatchey , Will C .
Bitter Pills: Lessons Learned While Developing Medical Ethnobotany.
An advanced undergraduate course in medical botany was taught for 12 years using a combination of pharmacognosy and plant diversity content.Students were expected to have strong backgrounds in biology and chemistry with specific training in plant systematics and organic chemistry. As part of an NSF curriculum development project in 2007, the course was redesigned to focus on ethnobotany and to incorporate modern instructional methods and assessments. In 2008 and 2009 the course was taught using a problem-based learning (PBL) methodology that included nested iterative formative assessments. This method was selected because this course is primarily taken by pre-medical students who go on to attend the University of Hawai`i Medical School which uses PBL as the focus of its training system. Students worked as individuals and in groups with different combinations explored in order to develop practical scientific workskills beyond knowledge of medical ethnobotany. Students reported mixed perspectives about the modified course format. For some the change was very stressful with too much work being expected early in the cycle. Others flourished within the modified environment and appreciated the opportunity to learn how to work within the PBL environment before getting into medical school.Student grades (outcomes) for the course were similar to those earned in prior years, but because the assessments were so different it was not possible to provide a direct comparison. New teaching methods are valuable for engaging students and encouraging them to work with information in ways that they will encounter it within the real world. This process needs to happen as early as possible within the educational system. It appears that students who encounter this later may have a difficult time adjusting to a new reality, but it is likely that the same phenomenon would have happened when they moved from academia into the real world.
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1 - Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Research, 1700 N. University Avenue, Fort Worth, TX, 76107, USA
Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Location: Lindell C/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Wednesday, July 13th, 2011
Time: 3:00 PM