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Peer Review

How the Heart Works



Overall Rating:

4.5 stars
Content Quality: 4.5 stars
Effectiveness: 4.5 stars
Ease of Use: 4.5 stars
Reviewed: Jul 28, 2013 by Health Sciences
Overview: This learning resource provides an overview of how the heart’s electrical conduction system functions. The page includes an animated diagram of the conduction as well as a normal EKG tracing to demonstrate the electrical physiology of the heart rate. The learning resource includes a link to the Heart Information Center page and a direct link to additional information as it relates to arrhythmias.
Learning Goals: There are no stated learning objectives. Implied learning objectives are that after review of the website the user will be able to:
  • Discuss the anatomy of the heart.
  • Describe the normal electrical conduction system of the heart.
  • Describe at least two common cardiac diseases.
  • Describe at least two common diseases of blood vessels.
Target Student Population: The target population includes college or university programs for undergraduate anatomy and physiology, exercise science, health or nursing.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Knowledge in basic cardiovascular anatomy would benefit the users.
Type of Material: This learning resource could be used as lecture/presentation support. It includes an animations of the cardiac electrical conduction system and the cardiac pumping cycle.
Recommended Uses: This learning resource can be utilized as an advance assignment enhancing a textbook reading, and/or to prepare the students for lecture or activity. It also could be used by students studying the anatomy and physiology of the heart. The learning resource can be utilized as a focal point in a lecture based setting. The learning resource could also be utilized for patient education with patients with heart conditions and their family members to better understand where specific cardiac issues arise.
Technical Requirements: The technical requirements include a computer with Internet access, a web browser and Adobe Flash player.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: Clear graphics of both the heart pumping and of the hearts' electrical conduction pathways. An explanation of each area of the heart and the function of cardiac nodes is included.
Concerns: •Though information is quite useful as a lecture resource, the lack of organized activities with specific instructional objectives does not allow this site to be deemed a tutorial.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: This site is a useful site for elementary and beginning discussion and review of the cardiovascular conduction system. The site provides a short animation and visual graphic to allow students to "see" and read the proper process of the conduction system. This material can be used as a general introduction, review or resource for student understanding of the basics in the electrical conduction of the cardiovascular system.
Concerns: This learning resource would be enhanced with the use of expected learning objectives or outcomes, interactive lessons and assessments.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: The learning resource is simple to use. Web pages load easily. Each component is well explained.
Concerns: •Though the site is well-written and easy to understand, there are a few grammatical errors

Other Issues and Comments: This site is particularly appealing because it allows a quick review of information as it relates to the basics for the electrical conduction system. This site is an excellent tool for pre-assignment for a classroom lecture session to allow students to prepare with basic knowledge.