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Adv Physiol Educ. 2008 Jun;32(2):142-6. doi: 10.1152/advan.00095.2007.

Common student misconceptions in exercise physiology and biochemistry.

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  • 1Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, United Kingdom.


The present study represents a preliminary investigation designed to identify common misconceptions in students' understanding of physiological and biochemical topics within the academic domain of sport and exercise sciences. A specifically designed misconception inventory (consisting of 10 multiple-choice questions) was administered to a cohort of level 1, 2, and 3 undergraduate students enrolled in physiology and biochemistry-related modules of the BSc Sport Science degree at the authors' institute. Of the 10 misconceptions proposed by the authors, 9 misconceptions were confirmed. Of these nine misconceptions, only one misconception appeared to have been alleviated by the current teaching strategy employed during the progression from level 1 to 3 study. The remaining eight misconceptions prevailed throughout the course of the degree program, suggesting that students enter and leave university with the same misconceptions in certain areas of exercise physiology and biochemistry. The possible origins of these misconceptions are discussed, as are potential teaching strategies to prevent and/or remediate them for future years.

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