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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Ithaca, New York » Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture & Health » Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #384195

Research Project: Characterization of Molecular Networks in Diseases Caused by Emerging and Persistent Bacterial Plant Pathogens

Location: Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research

Title: Teaching plant pathology during a pandemic? A semi-virtual approach for plant pathogenic bacteria labs

item GONZALEZ-TOBON, JULIANA - Cornell University
item Filiatrault, Melanie
item COX, KERIK - Cornell University

Submitted to: American Phytopathological Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/28/2021
Publication Date: 8/2/2021
Citation: Gonzalez-Tobon, J., Filiatrault, M.J., Cox, K. 2021. Teaching plant pathology during a pandemic? A semi-virtual approach for plant pathogenic bacteria labs. American Phytopathological Society. Plant Health 2021, August 2-6, 2021, virtual.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Like the rest of the world, the COVID-19 pandemic sent us home and left us wondering how to teach a plant pathology laboratory course remotely. The students would be unable to attend physically, and even if we found a way to connect with them from the lab, how could we make it engaging? Using a semi-virtual approach, we performed lab experiments that the students could watch and participate with in real-time. This lab focused on molecular identification of bacterial soft-rot pathogens of potato. The students had access to a step-by-step interactive timeline where they could experience each step prior to the lab session. Steps taking a significant amount of time were summarized in short and engaging videos the students could watch before the class. During the class, we walked small groups of students through the molecular identification using a ¨cooking-class¨ approach. This allowed small groups of students to participate actively and observe the process through the end. After which, TAs worked with the students on sequence data using free bioinformatic tools to draw their own conclusions. Transforming an in-person laboratory to a semi-virtual environment with remote participation was truly challenging. We hope that our approach can help and inspire other educators on active remote learning experiences in the future.