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Friday, June 20 • 9:30am - 10:00am
CON10.09– Enhancing Student Interest in the Biomedical Sciences Using Novel Teaching Modalities: A Focus on Curriculum Development? (Room A313)

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The broad field of biomedical sciences includes subject areas that can be extremely content heavy. When an exceedingly large quantity of information is packed into a single course it can be difficult as an instructor to incorporate curricular elements that stimulate genuine student interest. In order to stimulate this interest, novel teaching modalities have been incorporated into a first year course in Human Anatomy and Physiology with overwhelming success. All of the in-course modalities are heavily routed in the broader theme of constructivist learning strategies. Two examples include Movement Guided Learning© (MGL) and Inquiry Guided Learning Projects (IGLPs) which represent an in-class modality and a modality that spans the entire semester respectively.

MGL is a tutorial-styled learning package that guides students through exercises, stretches, and functional applications that build on previously taught information pertaining to bones and muscles of the human body. Formal assessments before and after the MGL activity indicate that students not only improve their academic performance on open-ended musculoskeletal concept questions (t(9) = -3.65, p=.005), but they also perceive the MGL activity positively with all students (100%) indicating they believe it should be used in future classes. The MGL activity has not only been a successful means of enhancing student interest but it has also provided an opportunity for students to independently construct deeper, more integrated concept understanding.

An additional modality, representative of a strategy that spans the entire semester, is the IGLP. These projects have been designed following common elements of student inquiry including the self-selection and research of a question pertaining to the study of the human body. In addition, the IGLPs were also designed to meet specific self-reported student needs. For example, students self-report on a pre-semester survey (using a 10-pt Likert scale) a lack of confidence in the exploration of research on a scientific topic (6.4 +/- 1.1). To address this need, while also meeting student self-identified desires to develop skills in effective communication (8.1 +/- 1.8) and resource acquisition (8.5 +/- 1.9), IGLPs were facilitated in a unique way. The IGLPs included four Information Sessions and three Check-Ins that guided students through the stages of the Information Search Process (ISP): initiation, selection, exploration, formulation, collection, and presentation. The guiding aspect was imperative as students indicated poor self-perceived abilities at selecting research questions (6.6 +/- 1.7), exploring answers to research questions using peer-reviewed literature (6.4 +/- 1.2), and effectively communicating answers (6.3 +/- 1.5).

Both the MGL and IGLPs are examples of the many novel teaching modalities that are being used to enhance student interest in a course of Human Anatomy and Physiology. These novel modalities, embedded at various points within course curriculum, are effective strategies for stimulating interest and inspiring curiosity in our students.


Friday June 20, 2014 9:30am - 10:00am EDT
A313 McArthur Hall

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