Developing the Digital Skills of Teachers in Teaching Selected Topics of Biochemistry

Conference: The Barcelona Conference on Education (BCE2022)
Title: Developing the Digital Skills of Teachers in Teaching Selected Topics of Biochemistry
Stream: Teaching Experiences, Pedagogy, Practice & Praxis
Presentation Type: Poster Presentation
Maria Kozurkova, Pavol Jozef Šafárik Univerzity, Slovakia
Maria Ganajova, Pavol Jozef Šafárik Univerzity, Slovakia


Many students find it difficult to visualise the structure of biochemical substances, as this process requires spatial imagination. Students can learn how to work with available databases of formulas for structures such as vitamins, carbohydrates and DNA/RNA bases using modelling programs. In order to strengthen interdisciplinary relationships between Biology and other subjects, it was considered appropriate to practice examples of replication, transcription, and translation in an unusual format which employs the Python programming language. The methodology titled “Making models of the biosynthesis of nucleic acids, proteins and genetic code” was developed with the aim of teaching students how to use the Python programming language to model records of amino acid sequences, translation, and transcription. The suitability of using the selected methodologies and models in teaching Chemistry (and Biochemistry in particular) was investigated by obtaining feedback from teachers at secondary schools through the questionnaire method. Subsequent analysis of the responses provided by teachers concerning the methodologies focused on making models in Chemistry revealed that the following features were seen as advantageous: the illustrative nature of the methodologies, the development of students' spatial imagination, the elimination of abstraction typical of certain topics, the possibility of using the methodologies for fixing knowledge, and the interconnection between Chemistry and IT studies. The teachers noted that the content complemented the thematic unit in an engaging manner and reported that students greatly appreciated the use of the program in their studies.

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