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Title: Impacts of a COVID-19 E-Service-Learning Module in a Non-Major Biology Course †
[ABSTRACT] Educators need to create an informed scientifically aware citizenry, especially in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, where public health measures have focused on increasing adoption of safe behaviors for reducing the transmission of COVID-19. Non-major science students make up an important, yet understudied, part of our public, given that they constitute tomorrow’s voters, workers, consumers, and policy-makers. Expecting that non-majors may benefit from a module connecting COVID-19 to community education, we implemented a novel E-service-learning module in light of the transition from an in-person course to an online platform. Our 4-week module included expert-led lectures, assigned digital infographics about COVID-19 safety precautions, and a required post-reflection assignment summarizing their learning gains. Out of 112 enrolled students, 87 consented to have their reflections analyzed and 8 students chose to participate in additional one-on-one online interviews. In an effort to determine which parts of our module garnered the most student commentary, we grouped post-reflection and interview data into four categories: service-learning infographic, service-learning guest lectures, information on COVID-19, and the broader implications of COVID-19. While 13% of students explicitly referenced infographics in their reflections, a far greater proportion (37%) explicitly referenced learning gains related to the expert-led lectures. Based on these findings, we encourage other educators to continue to explore the impact of E-service-learning content and assignments to help maximize learning in an online classroom environment during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.  more » « less
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Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education
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Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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