Biochemis.try – an interactive learning tool for biochemistry
About the project
Biochemistry is on the cutting edge of science, and promises us future breakthroughs in medicine, and yet it remains one of the most hated university subjects for medical students, and a «blind spot» for many people due to its complexity and non-empirical nature.
How can complex abstract biochemical processes be made accessible to beginners?
This master project has two main aims: finding approaches to creating a future learning tool for biochemistry, and researching how humans think about complex processes. Working with sample stories, «Getting energy», «Building matter» and «Sharing information», I experiment with how to emphasise crucial biochemical topics visually, metaphorically and interactively. This should contribute to improving scientific education by shifting the primary emphasis in dealing with complex topics from learning facts and data to exploring concepts and principles.
Thomas Wolfram, Björn Franke, Patrik Ferrarelli
The first interviews with students learning biochemistry and further research gave me two main insights:
Drawing & scribbling is an important part of learning. Most student tend to draw and scribble the processes described in a learning material, even if a good visualization is already given. “Building” an own structure gives a better understanding.
Knowing basic principles defines the success. Most successful students say that understanding the key principles is the most important thing. Instead of trying to memorize the thousands of reactions, which is impossible, a good scientist can derive the conclusions based on few core ideas.
As an result of interviews and observation I’ve defined several personal to summarize the goals and problems that will be solved with a learning tool.