Development of Learning Outcome-Based Modules to Improve Student Learning and Interest in a Core Biomedical Physiology Course

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipient: Gina Whitaker, Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology

Project team: Cici Chenliu, research assistant

Timeframe: December 2013 to June 2014

Funding: $5,000

Course addressed: BPK 205 – Introduction to Human Physiology

Final report: View Gina Whitaker's final project report (PDF)

From the final report: "Moving forward, all 10 of the tutorials in BPK 205 will be converted to the active, student-led learning format. The results of the study were positive and the anecdotal responses and feedback from both the TA and students were strongly in favor of this format." Read more >>

Poster presentation: View a poster (PDF) describing this project from the 2014 Symposium on Teaching and Learning.

Description: Introduction to Human Physiology is a core foundational course in the Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology. Recently, concerns have arisen about the adequacy of the knowledge for upper division study, as well as the quality of student learning experiences in this course. This project seeks to address this by using the Canvas learning management system to support structured learning outcome-based modules which will unite lecture content with tutorial activities and other useful resources that foster active learning and apply the concepts with real world examples. Assessments would be embedded within each module, including pre- and post-module quizzes as well as case-based group learning assignments. It is expected that this modular format will help students more clearly understand and achieve the learning outcomes in place, and also pique student interest in the subject by providing them with more learning activities that bring relevance and clarity to the subject matter.

Questions addressed:

  • Did students fulfill the learning outcomes in place for the course through completion of the online active-learning modules?
  • What are the student’s perceptions of their overall learning experience in the course in response to the use of online learning modules?

Knowledge sharing: Updates on the project will be presented to a department committee seeking to restructure the curricula of our physiology course. I will also develop a teaching blog where I will discuss my findings, share resources, and have open discussions.  If this project is effective, it will be carried out in other courses as well. I will be working closely with other instructors to implement these ideas into their specific courses.

Whitaker, G., & Chenliu, C. (2014). Assessment of student learning and interest in a student-led problem-based learning tutorial setting. Poster session presented at the Symposium on Teaching and Learning: Provocative Pedagogy, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC.