The description provided in the MERLOT Material Detail for HyperHeart seems accurate. To repeat it here: "HyperHeart is an interactive animation/movie developed for Dr. Blumenthals pharmacology course detailing bloodflow, aortic/ventricular volumes and pressures present in a normal cardiac cycle. Also included are an electrocardiogram and heart sounds graph. Tutorials are provided for each phase of the cycle and interactive functions such as frame-by frame viewing, high/low quality toggle for faster playback, and a pop-up-menu to select the phase tutorials can all be utilized within the animation itself."
The interactive aspect of the animation involves using the mouse pointer to operate the Flash animation and to select tutorials from a drop down menu.
Type of Material:
To supplement lecture presentations, to offer as a link for student self study.
Macromedia Flash plugin for browser.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
To understand the heart cycle in terms of timing and magnitude of contraction, electrical activity, and heart sounds.
Target Student Population:
Listed for College General Education, Graduate School, and Professional Audiences. General education college students would probably need some help with interpreting the text of the tutorials.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Basic study of heart anatomy, heart cycle, and the conduction system of the heart.
High quality shockwave animation
Students can pause action to view ECG, blood pressure and heart sounds.
Contains tutorials explaining what is happening at each step of the heart beat.
The animation has a rapid download time even on a 56K phone connection.
It is easy to navigate, and the design offers a clear presentation.
The animations of pressure, electrical activity, and heart sounds are synchronized allowing a student to see the relationships between these processes.
The frame-by-frame control is especially nice, allowing the student time to study and absorb the content.
Tutorials are provided to explain the primary processes represented in the animation.
Students may get confused about the definition of ventricular systole given in the isovolumetric contraction tutorial. The quote is, "Mechanically, ventricular systole is defined as the interval between the closing of the AV valves and the opening of the semilunar valves (aortic and pulmonary valves)." Do the authors mean this to define the beginning of ventricular systole rather than ventricular systole as a whole? Some delineate ventricular systole by the closing of the mitral valve (or AV valves) and the later opening of the mitral valve (or AV valves). Some mark the ending as the closing of the semilunar valves. At any rate, I think that a bit of additional explanation would be useful for the student.
One other point that may be confusing to students is found in the atrial systole tutorial in the quote, "The PR segment is electrically quiet as the depolarization proceeds to the AV node." As shown in the accompanying ECG graph, there is electrical activity QR segment, and this may confuse the student. Again, additional explanation would be help on this point.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Students can easily see what specific changes in the heart correlate with changes in blood pressure and the ECG.
It would be easy to develop an assignment to accompany this site.
Very engaging for visual learners, while text in tutorial delves into specifics of each step in more detail.
Fast download time and the simplicity, clarity, and accuracy of animations are strong points.
This learning item would serve well for both student self-study of materials and for in-class presentations by instructors to supplement lectures on these specific aspects of heart function.
No assessment exercises are present on the site.
Not very interactive, in that students cannot change variables such as heart rate or stroke volume and see how it impacts pressure, etc.
An online student self-test would be a nice addition.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Very easy to use and intuitive.
There is a help link for students to review prior to using the animation.
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