SPARTANBURG, S.C. (courtesy smcsc.edu) — Spartanburg Methodist College students studying the skeletal system got hands-on while reconstructing an entire skeleton in class recently. Dr. Jennifer Hyder’s Biology 210 class was tasked with completely fitting together the skeleton to learn more about how the system works.
Ashley Gutierrez, a nursing freshman, participated in the assignment and said it provided an excellent way for her to learn for future applications.
“Through these experiences, I not only acquire knowledge but also gain a deeper understanding of bone functions and locations, making it easier to grasp specific details by witnessing them firsthand,” she said.
Biology Lab Instructor Lauren Landers said the hands-on learning approach provides a much greater understanding than just reading and discussing the concepts in the classroom.
“Hands-on learning takes students out of the textbook and into real-life application questions and situations,” she said. “By exploring lecture principles in tangible ways, like in our science curriculum with lab components, students can move from simply knowing the correct answer to actually applying it in a scenario.”
SMC’s commitment to providing its students with opportunities to engage in interactive, experiential learning is evident in assignments like these. Students gain essential problem-solving and collaboration skills via group discussions and projects that further their engagement with course material. Hands-on learning fosters the ability to think critically and verbalize the why behind the answer.
“I find that students are much more interested and engaged with course content when they can associate it with their own experience. By interacting differently, thinking differently, and engaging material differently through hands-on learning activities, they better grasp the material, and we have a ton of fun,” Landers said.