A Case-Based Interactive Format for Very Large Undergraduate Classes in Introductory Bioscience Supports and Improves Student Learning


  • Suzanne Evans
  • Charles Berry
  • Karen E. Mate University of Newcastle


A sound understanding of bioscience and an ability to use that knowledge in solving complex problems is required for the development of proficient health practitioners. This paper describes the continuing development of a bioscience course designed specifically for this purpose; it uses a problem based approach to teach the skill of applying knowledge of basic scientific concepts to clinical case scenarios. Face to face teaching hours were divided equally between lectures (to introduce inexperienced learners to the material) and problem based interactive tutorials (to model and practice the skill of applying basic knowledge to clinical case scenarios). The difficulty of finding sufficient teaching staff with a strong scientific and clinical background was addressed by using a large group interactive format for tutorials, along with the use of an electronic audience response system. This approach resulted in an increase of both academic performance and student satisfaction, with no diminution of the perceived level of support provided to students.






Published paper