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Use of concept mapping in an undergraduate introductory exercise physiology course

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Description Physiology is often considered a challenging course for students. It is up to teachers to structure courses and create learning opportunities that will increase the chance of student success. In an undergraduate exercise physiology course, concept maps are assigned to help students actively process and organize information into manageable and meaningful chunks and to teach them to recognize the patterns and regularities of physiology. Students are first introduced to concept mapping with a commonly relatable nonphysiology concept and are then assigned a series of maps that become more and more complex. Students map the acute response to a drop in blood pressure, the causes of the acute increase in stroke volume during cardiorespiratory exercise, and the factors contributing to an increase in maximal O2 consumption with cardiorespiratory endurance training. In the process, students draw the integrative nature of physiology, identify causal relationships, and learn about general models and core principles of physiology.
Type of Resource Journal Article/Issue
Format Web Page - HTML
Kim Henige, California State University, Northridge
Development Date September 1, 2012
Grade/Age Levels Undergraduate lower division (Grades 13-14)
Undergraduate upper division (Grades 15-16)
Related Research Paper Advan. Physiol. Edu. 35: 178-187, 2011
Learning Time <=1 hour
Language English
Type of Review Reviewed By Journal Board
Review Date Reviewed at time of publication
Suggested Use

I have thought about using concept mapping in my Physiology course and this article provided a good starting point to incorporate this activity.  It was helpful to see the starting information that she provided to her class because I have struggled with how much "help" to provide vs. having them work through it on their own.  One concern I have is that these concept maps are now in many text books including the one I use so how would you prevent students from just copying their map?  

Kim Huey, Drake University


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