• Suraya Sulaiman Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Cawangan Pulau Pinang, Kampus Bertam, 13200 Kepala Batas, Malaysia
  • Wan Nordini Hasnor Wan Ismail Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Cawangan Pulau Pinang, Kampus Bertam, 13200 Kepala Batas, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
  • Mohd Izani Othman Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Cawangan Pulau Pinang, Kampus Bertam, 13200 Kepala Batas, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
  • Mohd Nadzri Mohd Najib Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Cawangan Pulau Pinang, Kampus Bertam, 13200 Kepala Batas, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia


Abstract: Microbial art, an emerging trend in microbiology education, integrates artistic activities to enhance critical thinking and deepen comprehension of intricate scientific concepts. This study examines the effect of microbial art activity on students' understanding and competency of microbiological culturing methods. A qualitative content analysis was employed to evaluate the comprehension of 108 students who participated in the microbial activity, which encompassed the assessment of both their visual creations and written reports. The relationship between students' understanding of bacterial culturing techniques and the quality of their artworks was assessed using descriptive statistics and Pearson's correlation coefficient. The quality of the artwork was classified as poor, moderate, and good, reflecting students' cultivation skills, with 53% at a moderate level, 30% good, and only 17% having poor artwork quality. According to the analysis of the students' written reports, it was found that 71% of the students exhibited a strong understanding of the activity, while 29% showed an average level of understanding. However, there was no correlation found between students' understanding and the quality of their artwork. This study demonstrates that incorporating microbial art into science education can improve student cultivation techniques by providing an engaging and creative way to practice microbiology skills.

Keywords: Artworks; Culturing technique; Enhance; Microbial art; Microbiology education


Adkins, S. J., Rock, R. K., & Morris, J. J. (2018). Interdisciplinary STEM Education Reform: Dishing Out Art in A Microbiology Laboratory. FEMS microbiology letters, 365(1), fnx245.

Adkins-Jablonsky, S. J., Akscyn, R., Bennett, B. C., Roberts, Q., & Morris, J. J. (2020). Is Community Relevance Enough? Civic and Science Identity Impact of Microbiology CUREs Focused on Community Environmental Justice. Frontiers in Microbiology, 11, 578520.

Adkins-Jablonsky, S. J., Arnold, E., Rock, R., Gray, R., & Morris, J. J. (2021). Agar Art: A CURE for the Microbiology Laboratory. Journal of microbiology & biology education, 22(2), e00121-21.

Bonwell, C. C., & Eison, J. A. (1991). Active Learning: Creating Excitement in the Classroom. 1991 ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Reports. ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education, The George Washington University, One Dupont Circle, Suite 630, Washington, DC 20036-1183.

Brockman, R. M., Taylor, J. M., Segars, L. W., Selke, V., & Taylor, T. A. (2020). Student Perceptions of Online and In-Person Microbiology Laboratory Experiences in Undergraduate Medical Education. Medical education online, 25(1), 1710324.

Bull, H., Premkumar, K., & Acharibasam, J. W. (2020). Using an Innovative Intervention to Promote Active Learning in an Introductory Microbiology Course. Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 11(2), n2.

Charkoudian, L. K., Fitzgerald, J. T., Khosla, C., & Champlin, A. (2010). In living color: bacterial pigments as an untapped resource in the classroom and beyond. PLoS biology, 8(10), e1000510.

Chatragadda, R., & Dufossé, L. (2021). Ecological and biotechnological aspects of pigmented microbes: A way forward in development of food and pharmaceutical grade pigments. Microorganisms, 9(3), 637.

Colucci-Gray, L., Trowsdale, J., Cooke, C. F., Davies, R., Burnard, P., & Gray, D. S. (2017). Reviewing the potential and challenges of developing STEAM education through creative pedagogies for 21st learning: how can school curricula be broadened towards a more responsive, dynamic, and inclusive form of education?. British Educational Research Association.

de Ondarza, J. (2019). The Color of Survival: An Inquiry-Based Inter-Disciplinary Study of Bacterial Pigments. Bioscene: Journal of College Biology Teaching, 45(3), 22-30.

Frankel, E., Temple, J., Dikener, E., & Berkmen, M. (2023). Bridging the gap with bacterial art. FEMS Microbiology Letters, fnad025.

Jefferies, L. R., Giordano, A. N., & Hicks, B. W. (2022). Agar Art as an Instructional Tool to Teach Inducible Promoters via Fluorescent Protein Expression. Journal of Chemical Education, 99(12), 4181-4185.

Kibble, J. D., Bellew, C., Asmar, A., & Barkley, L. (2016). Team-based Learning in Large Enrollment Classes. Advances in physiology education, 40(4), 435-442.

Najdanovic-Visak, V. (2017). Team-based Learning for First Year Engineering Students. Education for Chemical Engineers, 18, 26-34.

Ng, W. (2012). Bacterial Calligraphy: A Memento for Undergraduate Research Students. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education, 13(2), 172-174.

Sangweme, D., Lampert, E., & Mcintosh, E. (2020). Microbe art can educate & correct misconceptions about microorganisms. The American Biology Teacher, 82(3), 162-169.

Sharma, S., & Meyer, V. (2022). The colors of life: an interdisciplinary artist-in-residence project to research fungal pigments as a gateway to empathy and understanding of microbial life. Fungal Biology and Biotechnology, 9, 1-11.

Wu, R., Brinkema, C., Peterson, M., Waltzer, A., & Chowning, J. (2018). STEAM connections: Painting with bacteria. The American Biology Teacher, 80(4), 305-307.

How to Cite
Sulaiman, S., Wan Ismail, W. N. H., Othman, M. I., & Mohd Najib, M. N. (2023). IMPACT OF MICROBIAL ART ON ADVANCING STUDENTS’ CULTURING PROFICIENCY IN MICROBIOLOGY EDUCATION . Asian People Journal (APJ), 6(2), 109-118.