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TitleTeaching the extracellular matrix and introducing online databases within a multidisciplinary course with i-cell-MATRIX - A student-centered approach
Author(s)Sousa, João Carlos
Costa, Manuel João
Palha, Joana Almeida
KeywordsExtracellular matrix
Student-centered learning
Issue date1-Mar-2010
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons Inc
JournalBiochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
CitationSousa, J. C., Costa, M. J., & Palha, J. A. (2010). Teaching the extracellular matrix and introducing online databases within a multidisciplinary course with i‐cell‐MATRIX. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, 38(2), 79-84
Abstract(s)The biochemistry and molecular biology of the extracellular matrix (ECM) is difficult to convey to students in a classroom setting in ways that capture their interest. The understanding of the matrix's roles in physiological and pathological conditions study will presumably be hampered by insufficient knowledge of its molecular structure. Internet-available resources can bridge the division between the molecular details and ECM's biological properties and associated processes. This article presents an approach to teach the ECM developed for first year medical undergraduates who, working in teams: (i) Explore a specific molecular component of the matrix, (ii) identify a disease in which the component is implicated, (iii) investigate how the component's structure/function contributes to ECM' supramolecular organization in physiological and in pathological conditions, and (iv) share their findings with colleagues. The approach designated i-cell-MATRIX is focused on the contribution of individual components to the overall organization and biological functions of the ECM. i-cell-MATRIX is student centered and uses 5 hours of class time. Summary of results and take home message: A "1-minute paper" has been used to gather student feedback on the impact of i-cell-MATRIX. Qualitative analysis of student feedback gathered in three consecutive years revealed that students appreciate the approach's reliance on self-directed learning, the interactivity embedded and the demand for deeper insights on the ECM. Learning how to use Internet biomedical resources is another positive outcome. Ninety percent of students recommend the activity for subsequent years. i-cell-MATRIX is adaptable by other medical schools which may be looking for an approach that achieves higher student engagement with the ECM.
DescriptionAuthor's proof
Publisher version
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:ICVS - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais com Referee

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