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Adv Physiol Educ. 2012 Jun;36(2):125-30. doi: 10.1152/advan.00095.2011.

Showercap Mindmap: a spatial activity for learning physiology terminology and location.

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  • 1Centre for Applied Psychology, Faculty of Health, University of Canberra, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia. thea.vanags@canberra.edu.au

Abstract

Students struggle with the volume and complexity of physiology terminology. We compared first-year undergraduate psychology students' learning of physiological terms using two teaching methods: one verbal (control group; n = 16) and one spatial and multisensory (experimental group; n = 19). The experimental group used clear plastic shower caps to mark brain regions and affix labels to another participant's head. The control group learned the material verbally through a game. When tested verbally, both the control and experimental groups recalled more of the 10 terms immediately after the activity (+106% and +83%, respectively) and 2 wk later (+53% and +31%, respectively) than at the pretest (P < 0.0005). When participants' knowledge was tested spatially (labeling a brain diagram), the experimental group recalled more terms at the posttest (+76%) and followup (+73%) than at the pretest (P < 0.0005), but the control group who showed no improvement at either time point (+12% and +14%, respectively). These findings support the notion that spatial and multisensory learning produces improved spatial recall over time while also supporting the notion of transfer-appropriate processing.

PMID:
22665427
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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