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Applying innovative educational principles when classes grow and resources are limited: Biochemistry experiences at Muhimbili University of Allied Health Sciences.

Omer S, Hickson G, Taché S, Blind R, Masters S, Loeser H, Souza K, Mkony C, Debas H, O'Sullivan P
Biochem Mol Biol Educ. 2008 36 (6): 387-94

PMID: 21591227 · DOI:10.1002/bmb.20210

Teaching to large classes is often challenging particularly when the faculty and teaching resources are limited. Innovative, less staff intensive ways need to be explored to enhance teaching and to engage students. We describe our experience teaching biochemistry to 350 students at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) under severe resource limitations and highlight our efforts to enhance the teaching effectiveness. We focus on peer assisted learning and present three pilot initiatives that we developed to supplement teaching and facilitate student interaction within the classroom. These included; instructor-facilitated small group activities within large group settings, peer-led tutorials to provide supplemental teaching and peer-assisted instruction in IT skills to enable access to online biochemistry learning resources. All our efforts were practical, low cost and well received by our learners. They may be applied in many different settings where faculties face similar challenges.

Copyright © 2008 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

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