Laboratory biosafety and biosecurity related education in Pakistan: Engaging students through the Socratic method of learning

Sahrish Muneer, Hammad Afzal Kayani, Kashif Ali, Ehtesham Asif, Raheela Rehmat Zohra, Furqan Kabir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Laboratory biosafety is currently a major global issue in clinical research and academic laboratories. To alleviate these concerns, subject-specific education of standardized laboratory practices is essential and should be delivered in a comprehensible, interactive, and appealing manner. The objective of the present study was to engage university-level students in laboratory biosafety and biosecurity related education through the Socratic method of learning. A pre/post-test model was implemented to assess the knowledge improvement after the workshop. Methods: Two workshops were conducted individually at a public and private educational institute in October 2019 and December 2019, respectively. Important concepts were delivered in an interactive engagement format to ensure substantive understanding. Pre- and post-training scores were computed, and a paired t-test was used to assess knowledge gain. Results: Out of the 357 students from both institutes, 320 (90%) provided consent and completed the pre- and post-test questionnaires. The participants lacked a baseline knowledge of laboratory biosafety. A statistically significant increase (14% to 84%) in knowledge was reported among students, with a p-value of < 0.001. Scores improved in the post-test assessment, where 87% were high performers, and only 1% were low-performing students. The difference between the pre- and post-test mean scores was indicative of a substantial 70% improvement in education. Students exhibited high levels of satisfaction with the Socratic method of teaching style. Conclusion: The study highlighted the significance of the Socratic style of learning for engaging students and improving their knowledge and awareness of laboratory biosafety in academic settings in Pakistan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-27
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biosafety and Biosecurity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Bio-risk management
  • Biosecurity
  • Laboratory biosafety
  • Philosophy of containment
  • Socratic method of learning


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