Active Learning Experience in an Undergraduate Biology Course Frank C. Church ([email protected]) Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, University of North Carolina School of Medicine Kathryn W. Smith ([email protected]) Office of Medical Education, University of North Carolina School of Medicine Kurt O. Gilliland ([email protected]) Cell Biology and Physiology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine “Significant learning” is the ultimate goal of any course, but achieving this is the challenge of any course director whether the learners are undergraduate, graduate or medical students. As described by Fink (2003 and 2007), significant learning is Foundational knowledge, Application, Integration, Human dimension, Caring, and Learning how to learn. Active Learning has many of the features needed for a significant learning experience; yet, implementing such a change in a traditional didactic lecture course is a potentially challenging issue. The present proposal describes such an “experiment” for an undergraduate Biology course (enrollment was 80 students, all Seniors) entitled “Biology of Blood Diseases”. The Active Learning experience was used 10 times in two formats: (1) online individual quiz given in Sakai based on a paper that was due before class started, small group discussion on the same questions plus 1 new question (5-10 min), short lecture (25 min), and an application clinical question discussed-answered by the groups displaying color-coded cards (10 min); or (2) no preassigned reading, a short lecture (30 min), and an open-ended application clinical question that students recorded their answers on a 4 x 6" card, they then traded cards with 6-8 random classmates, pooled/discussed responses in the small groups, talked over the best answer, and orally present the answers from the group to the class (20 min). The Active Learning Grade was 5% of the total class grade: 2.5% from submitted Sakai "Individual" quizzes, and 2.5% for "Group" answers (IF-AT scratch-off cards), selfgraded, and attendance was monitored by signing the back of the card. Detailed description of these events, student evaluations, and stumbling blocks from this Active Learning experience will be presented. The goal is to expand Active Learning days for the 2013 fall course and to further address Fink’s tenets linked to significant Active Learning.