Expecting students to consume rather than create knowledge

I have been teaching this course on fish disease for over 20 years and I am both struggling with and intrigued by how to restructure the content. One section of the course that is challenging even when f2f is the introductory lectures where I introduce the “parade of pathogens” – the bacteria, viruses and parasites that they need to know the characteristics of to understand how disease occurs and why some diseases are harder to control than others.

One way that I am thinking about changing this in the hybrid format is to present a short lecture on general characteristics of, for example, bacterial pathogens. I would present the characteristics of one important pathogen, filling in a table with information like type of infection caused, optimal temperature range, mode of transmission, photo of pathology etc.  Then I would ask the students to sign up to fill out the table for one pathogen from a list (anticipating up to 3 people would be able to select the same pathogen) before coming to class.  In the f2f session we would break into groups by pathogen so they could have a chance to discuss and revise their table content, then as a group we would fill out the table (from a google doc on their computers) and discuss the similarities and differences and why these are important.

These tables would then serve as references that they would use throughout the term and as study guides for exams.

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