Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Teaching Basic Physiology and Anatomy Lab Courses Using Sakai

Heart and lungsImage via Wikipedia

This is a presentation by Joan Esterline Lafuze who is a professor of biology at Indiana University East. I am particularly interested in this session because teaching online labs seems to be such an issue for so many science instructor and colleges. Interestingly enough, there is a lot of actual science that is practiced via the internet (e.g., gathering and sharing data). I see a disconnect between the teaching of science and the practice of science.

These courses are primarily for nursing students. They use:
  • Streaming video (live demonstrations)
  • Modules (Melete Tool in Sakai)
  • Assignments II
  • Forums
  • Original Test & Survey to Samigo
  • Wiki & ePortfolio
Two strategies:
Only use tools in their most simplified form (on tip-toes)
Don't overwhelm students with tech

Course background
  • Traditional course for pre-nursing and nursing students
  • National, international, and rural students
  • Issues: access to technology
  • Benefits to having this course online
  • Attendance/Live streaming element (there are attendance points)
Benefits include
  • being able to meet individual students needs;
  • able to teach deployed military;
  • gasoline shortage;
  • caregivers
The instructor puts materials on thumbdrives.

Organs are sent in the mail and the students dissect along with the class during a live stream - although this is not a requirement for the class.

The students watch the dissections on line via live streaming. They meet the outcomes of the course and do not require dissection. She believes that there are a few courses where someone would be required to come in and work in a lab.

The course is taught multimodally - face-to-face and online.

I like the fact that she actually incorporates meetings with actual practicing scientists in the course.

Course utilizes a "course manager" - a TA.
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