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Adv Physiol Educ. 2016 Mar;40(1):64-9. doi: 10.1152/advan.00144.2015.

Blended learning within an undergraduate exercise physiology laboratory.

Author information

1
Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan sjelmer@mtu.edu.
2
Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan.

Abstract

In physiological education, blended course formats (integration of face-to-face and online instruction) can facilitate increased student learning, performance, and satisfaction in classroom settings. There is limited evidence on the effectiveness of using blending course formats in laboratory settings. We evaluated the impact of blended learning on student performance and perceptions in an undergraduate exercise physiology laboratory. Using a randomized, crossover design, four laboratory topics were delivered in either a blended or traditional format. For blended laboratories, content was offloaded to self-paced video demonstrations (∼15 min). Laboratory section 1 (n = 16) completed blended laboratories for 1) neuromuscular power and 2) blood lactate, whereas section 2 (n = 17) completed blended laboratories for 1) maximal O2 consumption and 2) muscle electromyography. Both sections completed the same assignments (scored in a blinded manner using a standardized rubric) and practicum exams (evaluated by two independent investigators). Pre- and postcourse surveys were used to assess student perceptions. Most students (∼79%) watched videos for both blended laboratories. Assignment scores did not differ between blended and traditional laboratories (P = 0.62) or between sections (P = 0.91). Practicum scores did not differ between sections (both P > 0.05). At the end of the course, students' perceived value of the blended format increased (P < 0.01) and a greater percentage of students agreed that learning key foundational content through video demonstrations before class greatly enhanced their learning of course material compared with a preassigned reading (94% vs. 78%, P < 0.01). Blended exercise physiology laboratories provided an alternative method for delivering content that was favorably perceived by students and did not compromise student performance.

KEYWORDS:

blended approach; physiology education; student achievement; student perceptions

PMID:
26847259
DOI:
10.1152/advan.00144.2015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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