computer-assisted learning

/Tag:computer-assisted learning

The Finkleman Preparation: a Computer Simulation for Teaching Undergraduate Students of Pharmacology

David Dewhurst, Ian Hughes and Richard Ulyott

An interactive computer-assisted learning program is described, which simulates a number of experiments which can be performed on the isolated, innervated duodenum of the rabbit (the Finkleman preparation). This preparation is one of the classical pharmacological preparations used to demonstrate to undergraduate students the effects of selected drugs: those acting on adrenoceptors or intestinal smooth muscle, or those affecting responses to sympathetic nerve stimulation. The program runs on any IBM compatible PC, and makes use of text and high resolution graphics to provide a background to the experiments and to describe the methodology. A screen display which emulates a chart recorder presents simulated results (spontaneous or evoked contractions of the gut), derived from actual data, in response to the selection by students of predetermined experimental protocols from a menu. The program is designed to enhance or replace the traditional laboratory-based practical using this preparation, whilst achieving the majority of the same teaching and learning objectives.
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The Impact of Introducing Computer-based Alternatives to the Use of Animals in the Teaching of Physiology and Pharmacology at Balkan Universities — A Pilot Study

Zvezdana Z. Kojic and David G. Dewhurst

Balkan universities use a substantial number of small mammals and amphibians in the teaching of physiology and pharmacology. This project investigated whether making computer-based alternatives readily available, and combining this availability with a staff development workshop focusing on methods of integrating such resources into undergraduate curricula, would have any effect on animal use. Teachers from 20 Institutes (from five Balkan countries) participated in the workshop. They presented information about animal use in teaching in their universities, and agreed to introduce at least one computerbased alternative into their teaching in the following year. They were surveyed by questionnaire before, during, and one year after, attending the workshop, in order to estimate any changes in animal use. The results showed a significant (P < 0.01) reduction in animal use and a high level of implementation of the alternatives provided at the workshop. Teachers recognised the potential benefits of using computers to support their teaching. They lacked knowledge about what computer-based alternatives are available and how to find information about them, including published evidence of their educational effectiveness. In this pilot study, a combination of staff development and making alternatives readily available to teachers had a significant impact on animal use in the teaching of physiology and pharmacology.[/fusion_toggle] [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column row_column_index="1_2" type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"][s2If current_user_cannot(access_s2member_level0)] You need to register (for free) to download this article. Please log in/register here.[/s2If]

Replacing Animal Use in Physiology and Pharmacology Teaching in Selected Universities in Eastern Europe — Charting a Way Forward

David G. Dewhurst and Zvezdana Z. Kojic

The aims of this study were to explore the use of animals in teaching and the implementation of innovative technology-based teaching practices across a small sample of universities in Eastern Europe. The research methods used were a questionnaire circulated four weeks before a workshop took place (in October 2009, in Belgrade, Serbia), as well as focused, face-to-face group discussions, led by one of the authors during the workshop. Twenty-two faculty (physiologists and pharmacologists), from 13 Eastern European countries, attended the meeting. Fourteen of the eighteen schools represented at the workshop were making use of animals, in some instances in quite large numbers, for their teaching. For example, a single department at a Romanian university used over 250 animals per annum, and at least 1130 animals were used, per annum, across all of the institutions. The species used in largest numbers were the rat (34%), frog/toad (29%), mouse (22%), rabbit (10%), guinea-pig (4%) and dog (1%). None of the universities sampled had implemented institution-wide virtual learning environments (VLEs), although there were isolated instances of local use of VLEs. There was relatively little current use of technology-based teaching and learning resources, but there was considerable enthusiasm to modernise teaching and to introduce innovative learning and teaching methods. The major perceived barrier to the introduction of replacement alternatives was the lack of versions in local languages. There was a consensus view that developing local language exemplars and evaluating their usefulness was likely to have the greatest impact on animal use, at least in the short-term.
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