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Adv Physiol Educ. 2001 Dec;25(1-4):117-22.

An inquiry-based learning model for an exercise physiology laboratory course.

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Department of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences, San Diego State University, San Diego, California 92182-7251, USA.


We developed an inquiry-based learning model to better stimulate undergraduate students' cognitive development of exercise physiology laboratory concepts. The course core is the two independent research projects that students, working in small groups, complete during the last 9 wk of the semester. Student groups develop their own research question and hypothesis, design the experiment, collect and analyze the data, and report their findings to the rest of the class using presentation software. To help with success of the research projects, students are taken through a series of guided-inquiry laboratory activities during the initial 6 wk of the semester to develop laboratory skills and an understanding of the scientific process. Observations of student behaviors reflected a high level of enthusiasm and engagement in laboratory activities. Surveys, journal entries, and interviews indicated that students felt empowered by having ownership in their projects, which may be the key reason for the success of this model.

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