Central Arizona College biology students learn from new teaching method

Kyndra Barney is taking a biology class at Central Arizona College where a new teaching method is being used. (Submitted photo)

Central Arizona College students enrolled in two biology courses are learning from a new teaching method designed to minimize the time spent on lectures.

BIO201 and BIO202 are experiencing the new form of learning using MANIKEN Student Models and clay.

Anatomy in Clay Learning Systems is part of the biology program at Central Arizona College. (Submitted photo)

Samuli Rauhalammi, professor of biological sciences, introduced the Anatomy in Clay Learning Systems this past year to 14 students enrolled in BIO201 at the Aravaipa Campus.

The goal of the new teaching method is to minimize the time spent on lectures, allowing students’ time for self-discovery and hands-on learning. Students learn about all body systems including skeletal, muscular, nervous, tissue types and cell function. At the end of the class, they complete a case study of a chosen clinical condition.

“Each student receives a half skeleton model that will stay with them for the two years they are enrolled in the biology courses,” the professor stated. “The students put together their model, one system at a time and each model develops their own characteristics.

“Through this method, all learning styles (visual, kinesthetic and auditory) are addressed. It is a paradigm flip for the classroom.”

Kyndra Barney, a BIO201 student stated: “I’m a visual learner, so it was nice to have something to look at.”

The teaching method will be rolled out districtwide beginning in the fall.

“I feel the hands-on part of the class (with) clay models was very useful. (They) gave a better understanding of where the body parts are placed. I really enjoyed it,” Maranda Petty stated.

Jacob Reidhead added: “I found the clay model to be very useful in learning about the body. I got to see it. If it was just a lecture it would be hard to see what they looked like.”

Enrollment is taking place at all CAC campuses for the fall semester.

Angela Askey is from Central Arizona College

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