Overview

The cellular membrane of living organisms play an important role in overall cell function. In this mini case study, students will gain an in depth understanding of cell membrane fluidity, in turn allowing for a deeper understanding of cell membrane structure and function.

Students will use their knowledge on cell membranes to explore the effects of fluorescent tags placed on a membrane which will allow for a better understanding of the fluid mosaic model. With the use of graphing students will understanding the relationship between cholesterol and the membrane. Students will also explore the location of membrane proteins by placing ...

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The cellular membrane of living organisms play an important role in overall cell function. In this mini case study, students will gain an in depth understanding of cell membrane fluidity, in turn allowing for a deeper understanding of cell membrane structure and function.

Students will use their knowledge on cell membranes to explore the effects of fluorescent tags placed on a membrane which will allow for a better understanding of the fluid mosaic model. With the use of graphing students will understanding the relationship between cholesterol and the membrane. Students will also explore the location of membrane proteins by placing them in the appropriate location on a visual cell membrane.

This mini case study uses the flipped classroom strategy where students will prepare by watching videos, completing assigned readings and taking a quiz before entering the classroom. The instructor can use just in time teaching (JITT) by using the quiz results to alter the in-class material.

Within the classroom the students are split into groups and complete two assignments on membrane fluidity and structure. The assignment will be followed by some multiple choice clicker questions. The students will have applied their knowledge on cell membrane fluidity to understand cell membrane structure and how this structure affects cell function.

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Objectives

  • To understand the chemical components of a biological membrane, and factors that affect the fluidity of a membrane;
  • Students learn about the fluid mosaic model, cell structure, cell function and about cellular transport (active transport, exocytosis, endocystosis etc).

Context and requirements

Level College
Discipline Biology
Course General Biology II
Activity Content Youtube videos, assigned readings, in-class activity, clicker questions (ppt) and key concepts/learning outcomes
Technological Requirements Clicker pads/clicker technology/smart board/white board/computers
Best Use Mini case studies

Author’s Notes

Benefits

  • Students gain a deeper understanding fo the structure of a cell membrane and how cell structure impacts cell fucntion;
  • Students also gain and understanding on how knowledged is acquired through research and interpretation.

Challenges

  • Students get overwhelmed when faced with the multiple choice clicker questions;
  • Students struggle with using the proper graphs and labelling the graphs appropriately. Students also struggle with data interpretation.

Tips

  • Students need a lot of instructor feedback throughout this case study, especially with the data analysis and graphing.

Activity Pedagogical Components

CASE STUDY

For a description of this strategy, please see here.

FLIPPED CLASSROOM

For a description of this strategy, please see here.

JUST IN TIME TEACHING (JITT)

For a description of this strategy, please see here.

PEER INSTRUCTION

For a description of this strategy, please see here.

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