I used this lab simulation in a class session for a non-majors Human Physiology class that was held in a computer studio...
I used this lab simulation in a class session for a non-majors Human Physiology class that was held in a computer studio classroom. The simulation is very effective and engages students with the VARIABLES that play a role in determining hemodynamics. The problems presented are interesting and relevant to the students. Conceptually, this activity incorporates deep and inter-related concepts that range from pressure/volume/flow relationships to responses due to sympathetic input. PROBLEMS: 1) It was necessary for me to steer the students away from activities that involved sympathetic input until they mastered pressure/volume/flows concepts. Otherwise, too many variables were confusing to students. I should have returned and tried the activity once again AFTER we had then focused on sympathetic responses (but we had only access to a one week demo - so I have not yet done this!) 2) While, as a physiologist, I found the data tracings to be accurate and very realistic, my students who had no experience in the lab needed EXPLICIT instructions on the graph tracings - defined axes - and I am NOT confident that all my students can extract information by reading the graphs. 3) I was suprised that this activity did NOT result in a classroom full of students having mastered cardiovascular hemodynamics concepts. Exam results were disappointing. I will look for ways to encourage individual accountability so that the students will LEARN the concepts from these activities. I believe that one solution might be UCLA's Calibrated Peer Review (CPR) at http://molsci.ucla.edu/cpr/ so please contact me if you want to help create a writing assignment around this lab. Technical Remarks: Very polished presentation - easy to use, even by adult students with limited computer expertise.