Use of short videos and case studies to enhance student confidence in biochemistry knowledge and application in a large lecture biochemistry course in first year veterinary curriculum

Biochem Mol Biol Educ. 2023 Mar;51(2):164-170. doi: 10.1002/bmb.21705. Epub 2023 Jan 6.


Large lecture courses are an efficient way to convey material to many students but have potential limitations, most notably the tendency for them to promote passive learning opportunities rather than active pedagogies. The curriculum at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, like many veterinary schools, contains many large lecture courses in the pre-clinical curriculum. This objective of this study was to use two active pedagogical interventions in a first-year lecture course named Veterinary Biochemistry and Metabolism that drew connections between basic science and several veterinary diseases. The first intervention targeted increasing students' intrinsic motivation and their confidence with understanding biochemistry concepts using videos created via collaborations between students, staff, and clinical and basic science faculty. The second intervention targeted active and collaborative learning via the implementation of clinical case studies completed in groups to relate lecture content to clinical scenarios with the aim of further enhancing student confidence in their knowledge of the material. To assess the effectiveness of these two interventions, pre-and post-course surveys using Likert style questions were administered to evaluate student confidence in the targeted concepts. The post-survey included open-ended responses on students' perspectives on their most important takeaways from the activities and their suggestions for improvements. The data showed a positive impact of these interventions on student motivation and confidence in their knowledge. This study provides support that targeted interventions to increase active learning strategies increase student engagement and may improve learning efficacy in large lecture courses.

Keywords: active learning; case studies; large lecture courses; student motivation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biochemistry / education
  • Curriculum*
  • Faculty
  • Humans
  • Problem-Based Learning
  • Students*