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Thursday, 20 February 2020

State-of-the-art makeover for Microbiology Lab

Food Technology Lecturer, Dr Zanephyn Keyser is excited to see the improvement of the quality of teaching and learning at his department. Food Technology Lecturer, Dr Zanephyn Keyser is excited to see the improvement of the quality of teaching and learning at his department.

The Food Technology Department has successfully upgraded its Microbiology Laboratory and students are already reaping the benefits.

 

Laboratory exercises play a significant role in microbiology as students learn about microorganisms, while the classes allow students to test theory and to overcome basic skills in microbiology-related research activities.

Food Technology Lecturer, Dr Zanephyn Keyser, said the lab boasts a compound Trinocular microscope which has been fitted with a Moticam High-definition (HD) camera unit that transforms the traditional image into a digital one. Keyser said: “The Moticam series captures the image through the MI Device interface allowing us to connect the camera to three TV monitors (55 inches) using the [High-Definition Multimedia Interface] HDMI output.”

He added that this system is being used during the Microbiology practicals at all levels and is hugely successful. The live images at 1080p resolution can be captured and saved to a Secure Digital (SD) card directly without the need of a computer. Keyser said these images can then be shared with students via Blackboard. “This improves teaching and learning significantly in the Microbiology Laboratory since we deal with micro-organisms which is a very difficult concept to grasp especially for the first-year cohorts. He said the data/images generated from the Digital Microscope station can now be transferred via Wi-Fi to the pre-installed MotiConnect App on two 10 inch tablets. Keyser stated that this option allows for an even more flexible application on a one on one basis with students. This helps us [lecturers] to visualise the organisms on a microscope using the monitors and tablets and I am extremely happy with the upgrades because now we can see what the students see under the microscope using the tablets.”

Keyser said the students are free to take measurements, make annotations, comparisons, observing cellular activity, simple life forms, and that details of other specimens can be viewed at leisure once the image has been stored in a computer. “Real time images allow visual progression of microorganisms, observation of a specimen over a period of time and the ability to return to a particular image for study,” he concluded.

Written by Aphiwe Boyce

Email: boyceap@cput.ac.za

Provides coverage for the Engineering and the Built Environment and Applied Sciences Faculties.