Greetings TWiM Hosts:
I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate the work that you do to discuss a wide variety of interesting microbiology topics in such a way that both emphasizes the complexity and interconnectedness of microbial life and interdependence of microbes and their hosts.
In the summer of 2020, several of my microbiology advisees reported the loss of internships due to COVID-19 restrictions. Since I had used TWiM as a source of primary literature and a means to provide multiple means of expression (Universal Design) and as a source of primary papers to discuss in general microbiology, I designed a digital internship for students to analyze TWiM episodes and annotate them for use by instructors teaching general microbiology. The students listened to dozens of episodes and linked the papers and your discussions to the ASM fundamental statements used to teach microbiology. They also demonstrated science literacy skills, as they had to summarize each podcast and justify their categorizations to their peers.
This project was the basis of a paper that will be published in JMBE April 1st. I thought you’d like to see it before the special edition focused on the challenges of teaching in the context of COVID-19. I will likely host this internship in the future, as the students were uniformly positive about the experience.
THANK YOU, for all that you do!
Plant Pathology and Microbiology
Iowa State University