completed an informed consent form before beginning the interview. This consent form was approved by the University Development Office, Institutional Investiga tion Area, UPR- Humacao. The interview was organized and conducted by the educational coordinator of the Microbial Observatory. RESULTS Assessments of the Microbial Observatory workshops. Pre- and posttest and group discussion. There was a significant difference in conceptual understanding about the microbial community of the mats and the techniques to study them after student’s participation in the first work - shops. Results from the pre- and posttest conducted during workshop 2- (paired student’s t test (9) = -6.48, p < .001) indicated a difference mean value of -11.3 and an increase in median values (of correct answers) from the 15th to the 25th percentile (Fig. 2). Our exquisite cadaver activity also revealed an increase in students’ knowledge. Before the second workshop students were more oriented to microorganisms and the geologic content of the mats. The documents after the workshop were more oriented toward the molecular aspects of the mats (data not shown). After completion of the workshop, the discussion of the interdisciplinary teams was evaluated using a rubric (not shown) with a scale from 1 (poor) to 3 (good) based on three criteria: (i) technique proficiency, (ii) relevance to the CRth-microbial mats, and (iii) overall presentation clarity. After their presentations, the average scores for the teams were 2.5, 2.5, 3.0 and 2.25. The global presentation average score was 2.6. Individual versus team Gallery Walk. Each investigator compared the answers provided by the students once they went through the gallery individually and as a team. The
32 RIOS-VELAZQUEZ, CASILLAS-MARTINEZ, AND VISSCHER J. MICROBIOL. & BIOL. EDUC. TABLE 1. Scoring rubric developed by the Microbial Observatories mentors to evaluate the performance of the students after their poster presentations of the case studies Components Scoring criteria 3 2 1 Knowledge The concepts and principles used for the experimental design are appropriate to the study. The student’s response reflects thorough understand - ing. The concepts and principles used for the experimental design are appropriate to the study with no significant errors. The student explains the experimental design but misapplies some concepts or principles, or omits some facts that are important for understanding the study. Scientific method Use scientific method to pose the project’s hypothesis. The experimental design address- es all important questions raised by the prediction. Use scientific method to pose the project’s hypothesis. The experimental design addresses the most important questions raised by the prediction. Partially use scientific method to pose the project’s hypothesis. The experi- mental design addresses some important aspects of the prediction, but omits others.