The Physiology Educational Research Consortium is a non-profit collaborative research and development effort among 6 physiologists and physiology educators representing post-secondary institutions ranging from the community college to medical school level. PERC’s goal is to improve life science education in general and physiology education in particular. We do this by conducting research to learn more about the needs of students. Based on this work, we develop materials and techniques that will help students build better mental models of physiological systems, and we educate faculty about how to incorporate these techniques into their classrooms to create more productive learning environments.
Our most recent efforts have been directed toward 1) defining the core principles that form the foundation for understanding physiological mechanisms, 2) promoting a holistic learning environment in the classroom, and 3) designing pedagogical approaches for promoting meaningful learning in the classroom.
To help students learn various aspects of physiology, our members have developed software, problem books, and textbooks. To help faculty, we conduct workshops focused on promoting an active learning environment that leads to meaningful learning. These workshops have been held at national and international meetings as well as at contracting institutions.