Dataset Information


The Use of Modular, Electronic Neuron Simulators for Neural Circuit Construction Produces Learning Gains in an Undergraduate Anatomy and Physiology Course.

ABSTRACT: During the spring of 2016 at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, we implemented a novel educational technology designed to teach undergraduates about the nervous system while allowing them to physically construct their own neural circuits. Modular, electronic neuron simulators called NeuroBytes were used by the students in BIOSCI202 Anatomy and Physiology I, a four-credit course consisting of three hours per week each of lecture and laboratory time. 162 students participated in the laboratory sessions that covered reflexes; 83 in the experimental sections used the NeuroBytes to build a model of the patellar tendon reflex, while 79 in the control sections participated in alternate reflex curricula. To address the question of whether or not the NeuroBytes-based patellar tendon reflex simulation brought about learning gains, the control and experimental group students underwent pre/post testing before and after their laboratory sections. We found that for several of the neuroscience and physiology concepts assessed on the test, the experimental group students had significantly greater declarative learning gains between the pre- and post-test as compared to the control group students. While there are numerous virtual neuroscience education tools available to undergraduate educators, there are relatively few designed to engage students in the basics of electrophysiology and neural circuitry using physical manipulatives, and none to our knowledge that allow them to build circuits from functioning hand-held "neurons."


PROVIDER: S-EPMC5480844 | BioStudies | 2017-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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