Musical explanations: Using blended media for learning biochemistry

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Vanderlelie, J
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Hoban, G. Nielsen, W and Shepherd, A
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2015
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As a discipline, biochemistry is considered by students to be a notoriously difficult strand of science (Vella, 1990; Wood, 1990). Accordingly, a didactic method is frequently used by academics for the teaching of biochemistry, in combination with a significant number of expert-generated complex resources (Meyer & Land, 2003). These antiquated pedagogies are often decontexualised from students’ everyday life and perpetuate epistemological beliefs that the content is impersonal, objective and difficult to learn (Palmer 1986; Vella, 1990). As a result, it is common that students of biochemistry lack enthusiasm for the subject matter and struggle to acquire the skills necessary to apply knowledge obtained from one area of the discipline in order to gain insight into another (Meyer & Land, 2003). Common approaches to biochemistry education have been suggested to nurture shallow learning, especially the rote learning of biochemical pathways, and so it is of little surprise that students treat biochemical knowledge as non-overlapping sets of information (Palmer, 1986). As a result, students struggle to engage in deep learning and have difficulty finding enduring relevance and maintaining long-term learning outcomes (Wood, 1990).

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Student-generated Digital Media in Science Education: Learning, explaining and communicating content
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Higher education
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