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Original Research Paper

Observations on Scenario Based Learning (SBL) in a Medical Microbiology Teaching Lab in a Biomedical Science Course

Authors:

C. Lloyd ,

Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, AU
About C.
Department of Health and Medical Sciences
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P. S. Neo

Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore, SG
About P. S.
School of Life Sciences and Chemical Technology
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Abstract

Introduction: A scenario-based learning (SBL) approach was designed for students taking the Medical Microbiology module at a tertiary educational institution. The purpose was to provide them a platform, to develop a diagnostic and research mind-set. A qualitative observational study on students’ learning experiences is discussed here-in.

Methods: The SBL entitled “Save the Patient” was conducted by assigning each student-pair a hypothetical infectious disease case. In session 1, students presented their literature search on – the possible microorganisms associated with the given disease, the sample required for diagnosis and the strategies for identifying the microorganisms. In session 2, hypothetical sample duplicates comprising a microbial mix (bacteria, yeasts) was provided. Students spent three sessions isolating and identifying the microorganisms using standard techniques, with tutor guidance. The end-point was to identify the pathogens and to prescribe a correct antimicrobial to “Save the Patient.” Mistakes were not penalized. Reflective qualitative observations on the various road-blocks faced and the impact on students’ diagnoses were documented, to bring out areas for developing competency.

Results: Common technical and non-technical learning areas could be grouped into 9 major and 22 subcategories. Aseptic skills (68%), streaking technique (46%) and detailed pre-laboratory preparations (43%) were observed by students to be key areas, where, if flawed, could result in inaccurate diagnosis.

 

Conclusion: The SBL learning method provided a platform for learning from mistakes in a safe environment. Students were motivated to think about their approaches and responsibly practice skills in areas they perceived as crucial, for their diagnostic career ahead.
How to Cite: Lloyd, C. and Neo, P.S., 2020. Observations on Scenario Based Learning (SBL) in a Medical Microbiology Teaching Lab in a Biomedical Science Course. South-East Asian Journal of Medical Education, 14(2), pp.58–63. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/seajme.v14i2.221
Published on 31 Dec 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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