Virtual Labs project is an interactive and simulation based teaching approach for human physiology. Cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, renal, respiratory and visual systems are covered in detail. Other topics in physiology include acid-base maintenance and sleep physiology. Sections on general anatomy and cranial nerves are also presented. Each section begins with a review of related anatomy topic and the physiological concepts are further built on those concepts. The modules are self-contained and are interactive and engaging for the learner. The site contains very good descriptions, images, animations, simulations, games, and quizzes. This is an excellent interactive site to learn some very difficult topics in physiology.
Type of Material:
This material is presented as interactive multimedia with animations, simulations, and tutorials.
This site could be used alone and students could work at their own pace, or the site could be used in conjunction with a class. It presents both basic and difficult concepts where specific components and animations could be used to supplement lectures and demonstrations. Select modules and quizzes could be assigned for reviews.
Much of the material can be navigated with HTML and is compatible with Lion 10.7.3 on Safari (32 bit mode), Firefox, and Chrome. Videos only run optimally on a PC running Internet Explorer. Need Adobe Shockwave Player and a high bandwidth connection. Must have Adobe Shockwave player to view animations and to add interactivity to web pages.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Students will develop a comprehensive understanding of physiology and basic anatomy including the ability to explain the physiological processes of various body systems and relate the anatomical features of a system to its functioning.
Target Student Population:
Undergraduate students can benefit most from this site, particularly students interested in medicine, pharmacology, and other health professions. Case studies and exam videos would be useful for graduate and health science students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Although there are no prerequisites for this site but it would be difficult to understand the concepts presented without some fundamental knowledge of anatomy and physiology.
Content is accurate and very complete and clearly presented
Well organized demonstration of concepts
Learning objects are interactive and engaging
Animations are engaging and illustrate the concepts well
Modules are interactive and engaging
Summarizes the concepts well
Case studies help with the application of basic concepts
Quizzes provide appropriate feedback
The “Anatomy” and “Other” modules are prototypes and are not completed yet
Not all modules have clear learning objectives
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Material introduces basic concepts in physiology and then builds and explores difficult concepts, but presents the information very clearly
Reinforces concepts progressively
Modules are self-contained and learners can explore at their own pace
Interactive animations makes it an effective teaching tool
Material is highly interactive and thoroughly engages the learner
Modules appeal to multiple learning styles and incorporate text, visual and audio components to enhance learning
Quizzes review concepts after most sections
Learning objectives are not clearly defined
Prerequisite knowledge is not identified
Quizzes don’t provide feedback for incorrect answers
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Modules organized well with topics and subtopics clearly displayed on side bar
Material is self-contained with clear instructions for animations and videos
Material is extremely well designed and visually appealing
Shockwave player runs smoothly
There were no concerns about ease of use at the time of this review
Other Issues and Comments:
Excellent site to learn concepts in physiology
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