top of page

My inquiry eFolio for ETEC 533

  • Writer's pictureDr. Sarah McLean

Getting wise to the usefulness of WISE

Last week in class, we were tasked with exploring WISE, the "Web-based Inquiry Science Environment". WISE has been around for some time (since 1996) and uses technology to support scientific inquiry. Educators can create, modify, and share inquiry projects that students can then complete. I was initially skeptical about the utility of WISE for my own teaching, as a lot of the examples provided seemed to focus on middle school science curricula. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find a WISE activity called the "Dengue Dilemma" which I enjoyed modifying. I am currently working on re-developing a third-year molecular biology lab and I think I could use WISE to supplement some other activities that the students will be doing. You can check out my discussion post below the image!

Dengue Dilemma becomes a Teaching Treasure for Molecular Biology Students

To be honest, I was surprised at the utility of the lessons in WISE- since this resource has been around for some time, I thought that the technology would be a little clunky. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find the “Dengue Dilemma” case and think with some minor modifications it would be a great fit with a third-year undergraduate molecular biology lab. Some of the elements that I would modify would be to provide the students with some problematic data (I.e. their experiment did not work) and then have them brainstorm some ideas of what could have gone wrong. In my experience, one issue that students have with molecular biology techniques is that they see the experiments as a “recipe”. Based on my pedagogical content knowledge, students have issues troubleshooting when an experiment goes wrong, as most of the time in an instructional setting, an experiment always “works”. However, this isn’t ever really the case! This way, students could actively scaffold new knowledge about problem-solving these techniques into their understanding of how these techniques work. I would also include formative feedback for the students on their writing by embedding a peer feedback component to their case report write-up.

Below is my lesson outline:

In this lesson, third-year molecular biology students will be introduced to key epidemiological concepts, such as case reports and epidemiological reporting strategies. Students will then use their foundational knowledge of molecular techniques such as PCR and ELISA to help investigate an outbreak of Dengue Fever through WISE. Students will help Victor, a technologist, troubleshoot some issues that he is encountering with his ELISA experiment. Finally, students will submit a case report of their findings and use peer feedback through PeerWise on our LMS to reflect on and improve their writing.

Then, during the wet laboratory sessions, students will apply their theoretical knowledge by performing a PCR experiment in a DNA fingerprinting lab. They will plan, execute, and present their data by creating an accurate figure and figure legend.

2 views0 comments
bottom of page