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Active Learning of Respiratory Physiology Improves Performance on Respiratory Physiology Examinations

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Description Active involvement in the learning process has been suggested to enhance creative thinking, judgement, interpretation, and problem-solving skills. Therefore, educators are encouraged to create an active-learning environment by incorporating active-learning strategies into the class. However, there is very little documentation of the effectiveness of active-learning strategies. Furthermore, faculty are often reluctant to incorporate new strategies without documentation of the effectiveness of these strategies. To address this concern, we compared the performance of two individual classes on an identical respiratory physiology examination. One class was taught respiratory physiology using active-learning strategies. The other class was taught respiratory physiology using the traditional lecture format. The results document that students who learned using active-learning strategies did significantly better (P < 0.05) on the respiratory physiology examination than students who learned by the traditional lecture format (61 ± 2.2 vs. 86 ± 1.0). Thus, by actively involving students in the learning process, academic performance is enhanced.
Type of Resource Assessment: other, Journal Article/Issue
Format Web Page - HTML
Sumangala Rao, Wayne State Univ Sch Med
Stephen DiCarlo, Wayne State Univ Sch Med
Development Date June 1, 2001
Grade/Age Levels Undergraduate lower division (Grades 13-14)
Undergraduate upper division (Grades 15-16)
Professional (degree program)
Continuing Education
Learning Time >9 hours
Language English
Type of Review Reviewed By Journal Board
Review Date Reviewed at time of publication
Suggested Use

Excellent research article to promote hands-on minds-on approaches at all levels of science education.  

Dan Bartsch, Billings Senior High

This essay discusses the value of problem-based teaching using student-driven activities.  Faculty can use this research-based article to support the use of alternative learning strategies and can be used to convice other instructors about the pedagogical value of problem-based learning.

Brian Shmaefsky, Lone Star College - Kingwood

Excellent example of how student-centered learning strategies can impact both understanding and achievement. Thank you!
Marsha Matyas, APS


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