Replacing lectures with exercises to promote learning in Life Sciences
The aim of this teaching project was to reduce frontal lectures and to increase the activity of students in a course with a maximum of 10 students. The overall aim was to advance students' learning. The students' activity consisted of individual reading of selected sections of a peer-reviewed article per group, discussion within group and oral presentation by all group members to the other group. It was implemented in two consecutive autumn semesters and was compared with the autumn semester before the implementation of the activity. After its first implementation, the activity was prolonged and its conceptual structure was improved by using a handout with questions to be answered during individual reading and discussion within group. Students' perception and satisfaction of this approach to teaching and the course in general were examined using a questionnaire. The overall satisfaction with the course was not increased with the first implementation of the activity, but with the improved conceptual structure of the activity in the second year. In conclusion, the greater replacement of frontal lectures with a well-structured activity resulted in advanced students' perception and satisfaction of the approach to teaching and the course in general. This study was a successful teaching experiment that demonstrated the benefits of introducing activity learning for Animal Science Master students and for the teacher.