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Presentation # 2959, Board #B507 The Use of Digital Photography to Enhance Learning of Biotechnology Fran Norflus and Kathy Szeniawski Clayton State University Department of Natural Sciences. Introduction

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Presentation # 2959, Board #B507The Use of Digital Photography to Enhance Learning of BiotechnologyFran Norflus and Kathy Szeniawski Clayton State University Department of Natural Sciences


Teaching has progressed over the years from simply writing on the blackboard to using overhead transparencies to the use of computers. This poster shows how the use of digital photography can be used to enhance the learning of biotechnology.

In this biotechnology class, digital pictures were taken of the equipment and results and then posted on the instructor’s Web page. These pictures were used to enhance learning so that the students could actually see what was going on and the teacher could explain the techniques and results to the class at one time while observing the pictures of gels.

Proper use of the centrifuge rotor

Digital pictures were posted that showed how to properly balance the rotor and how to put the lid on the rotor.

Exam questionswere analyzedthat were NOT based on digital photography

Proper and improper loading of gels

The picture on the left shows how to properly hold a pipette when loading an agarose gel. The middle panel shows a properly loaded gel while the picture

on the right shows a gel from a student who needs practice in loading gels.

Exam questions were asked where the students had to identify pictures from the lab manual or the Internet. They also needed to know facts that

were not based on photography. The % of students answering these questions correctly is shown below.

Exam questionswere analyzedthat were based on digital photography

An interactive web page was used to teach the proper reading of micropipettes

Digital pictures were posted that related to analyzing data from gels or looking

at different ways to stain the gels. Questions were asked on the exams that related to these gels. The % of students answering these questions correctly is shown below.

A picture of what was posted on the web site is shown below.

This is a p20 pipet. 

What is the volume?

Click here for the answer

Student’s ability to read micropipettes during the exam

During the exam, a station was set up where the students had to go and

read the different micropipettes. The % of students who could do this successfully is shown below.

Discussion and future studies

Overall, there was no statistical difference between the exam questions based

on the use of digital photography and those that were not based on the digital

photography. However, this data must be analyzed carefully. Different types

of questions were being asked. In order to really understand the effectiveness

of this technique, different groups of students should be analyzed. Some

should be shown the pictures and some just explained the concept.

Also, in some areas the use of the digital photography is very effective. For

example, the students learned to read the p2, p20 and p1000 micropipettes

effectively using the pictures.

In addition, when the students needed to learn how to use a new piece of equipment, it is very helpful to have pictures for the instructor to demonstrate

the technique rather than have an entire class of students surround a piece of equipment.