HM Knoche

(The FASEB Journal. 2012;26:719.1)

Web delivered program to demonstrate a pedagogy promoting meaningful learning

Harold I. Modell1, Joel A. Michael2 and Craig Knoche3
1 Physiology Educational Research Consortium, Seattle, WA
2 Molecular Biophysics and Physiology, Rush University, Chicago, IL
3 Physiosim.org, Mammoth Lakes, CA

Meaningful learning results when acquired information is used to accomplish a goal or solve a problem. Meaningful learning is an iterative process in which the learner (1) recognizes his/her existing mental model, (2) tests the mental model, and (3) refines the mental model. Helping the learner to engage in this process requires a pedagogy in which the instructor assesses the current knowledge of the learner, presents him/her with opportunities to apply this knowledge (e.g. make a prediction), and helps the learner refine his/her mental model before making another prediction. We have developed a web delivered computer program that helps students study mechanisms underlying pressure and volume changes occurring during a cardiac cycle. The program engages the student in a dialog that explores common misconceptions related to the cardiac cycle and helps her/him generate a Wiggers diagram. In an assessment component of the program, the student predicts the nature and site of valve pathophysiology given a Wiggers diagram or predicts the Wiggers diagram resulting from a specific valve pathophysiology. The student is able to test these hypotheses using a simulation of the cardiovascular system.

Supported in part by NSF Grant #DUE-1043422.

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