Evaluation and use of an online data acquisition and content platform for physiology practicals and tutorials

Dane A. King, Isabel A. Arnaiz, Clare Gordon-Thomson, Nicholas Randal, Sharon M. Herkes

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    The blended learning approach to teaching allows educators to incorporate multiple learning resources whilst making courseware available to students outside the traditional classroom setting. An online platform that interfaces easily with a range of biological and clinical equipment for real-time data acquisition was introduced for laboratory-based practicals and associated tutorials for all intermediate/second year undergraduate physiology courses. The traditional paper-based notes across the intermediate physiology curriculum were converted to custom interactive, online modules delivered using a blended approach to learning. An advantage of incorporating online elements, particularly in the practical/laboratory context, was the opportunity to collect learning analytics to gauge student engagement with practical learning. Online delivery of content also facilitated the delivery of evaluation surveys to gauge student satisfaction with converted courseware. The purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to examine the usage pattern of students during delivery of one module of the online practical courseware, 'Electrophysiology of the Nerve', over the first two years of its implementation; and (2) to gather evidence of the impact of the platform on student engagement and learning outcomes. Data analysis and positive student feedback from surveys demonstrate that the new online system improved student engagement and active participation in practical activities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)24-34
    Number of pages11
    JournalInternational Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • physiology practicals
    • student-centered learning
    • blended learning
    • learning analytics
    • student evaluations


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