Oklahoma State University-Center for Health Sciences (OSU-CHS) has replaced its microbiology wet laboratory with a variety of tutorials including a case-based interactive session called Microbial Jeopardy!. The question remains whether the time spent by students and faculty in the interactive case-based tutorial is worthwhile? This study was designed to address this question by analyzing both student performance data and assessing students' perceptions regarding the tutorial.
Both quantitative and qualitative data were used in the current study. Part One of the study involved assessing student performance using archival records of seven case-based exam questions used in the 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 OSU-CHS Medical Microbiology course. Two sample t-tests for proportions were used to test for significant differences related to tutorial usage. Part Two used both quantitative and qualitative means to assess student's perceptions of the Microbial Jeopardy! session. First, a retrospective survey was administered to students who were enrolled in Medical Microbiology in 2006 or 2007. Second, responses to open-ended items from the 2008 course evaluations were reviewed for comments regarding the Microbial Jeopardy! session.
Both student performance and student perception data support continued use of the tutorials. Quantitative and qualitative data converge to suggest that students like and learn from the interactive, case-based session.
The case-based tutorial appears to improve student performance on case-based exam questions. Additionally, students perceived the tutorial as helpful in preparing for exam questions and reviewing the course material. The time commitment for use of the case-based tutorial appears to be justified.