Author(s): Richardson D
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Abstract This study compared student perceptions and learning outcomes of computer-assisted instruction against those of traditional didactic lectures. Components of Quantitative Circulatory Physiology (Biological Simulators) and Mechanical Properties of Active Muscle (Trinity Software) were used to teach regulation of tissue blood flow and muscle mechanics, respectively, in the course Medical Physiology. These topics were each taught, in part, by 1) standard didactic lectures, 2) computer-assisted lectures, and 3) computer laboratory assignment. Subjective evaluation was derived from a questionnaire assessing student opinions of the effectiveness of each method. Objective evaluation consisted of comparing scores on examination questions generated from each method. On a 1-10 scale, effectiveness ratings were higher (P < 0.0001) for the didactic lectures (7.7) compared with either computer-assisted lecture (3.8) or computer laboratory (4.2) methods. A follow-up discussion with representatives from the class indicated that students did not perceive computer instruction as being time effective. However, examination scores from computer laboratory questions (94.3\%) were significantly higher compared with ones from either computer-assisted (89.9\%; P < 0.025) or didactic (86.6\%; P < 0.001) lectures. Thus computer laboratory instruction enhanced learning outcomes in medical physiology despite student perceptions to the contrary.
This article was published in Am J Physiol
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals