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The virtual flow cytometer: A new learning experience and environment for undergraduate teaching

Francis, Nigel ORCID:, Ruckley, Dave and Wilkinson, Thomas 2022. The virtual flow cytometer: A new learning experience and environment for undergraduate teaching. Frontiers of Education 7 , 903732. 10.3389/feduc.2022.903732

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Background: The use of simulations has been steadily rising in popularity in the biosciences, not only due to the COVID-19 pandemic restricting access to physical labs and equipment but also in the face of rising student numbers. In this study, we describe the development and implementation of a novel, open-access interactive simulation used to not only supplement a laboratory class but to enhance the student learning experience. The simulation provides students with the opportunity to interact with a virtual flow cytometer, design a simple experiment and then critically analyse and interpret raw experimental data. Results: Results showed that this highly authentic assessment used a much broader range of the mark scheme acting as an excellent discriminatory for student ability compared to simple recall as assessed by multiple-choice questions. Overall, the student response to the new assessment was positive, highlighting the novelty of the assessment, however, some students did experience technical issues when the simulation was used for the first time. Conclusion: Simulations can play a crucial role in the student learning cycle by providing a rich, engaging learning environment, however, they need to be used to supplement other hands-on experiences to ensure that students acquire the necessary kinematic skills expected of a successful science graduate.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR180 Immunology
Additional Information: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Publisher: Frontiers Media
ISSN: 2504-284X
Funders: St David's Medical Foundation
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 1 August 2022
Date of Acceptance: 27 June 2022
Last Modified: 02 May 2023 15:32

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