Replacing a Veterinary Physiology Endocrinology Lecture with a Blended Learning Approach Using an Everyday Analogy Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Understanding scientific concepts and processes is critical for veterinary education. This article outlines the impact of blended learning and the use of an analogy on student understanding of the hypothalamic-pituitary-target gland axis over a three-year period. The first-year veterinary physiology course at our institution was modified to incorporate a blended learning approach. An analogy centered around a fast-food restaurant was introduced via an animated video to explain key concepts using an online module. Students completed the module on their own time and class time was optional for asking questions or obtaining clarification as needed. Learning was assessed using the same set of multiple-choice exam questions (MCQs). As hypothesized, students using the online module performed equally well (significantly better for those in the lower quartile) on three summative MCQs to those who received the same information delivered by traditional lecture. Student feedback identified positive aspects regarding blended learning using the analogy, including dynamic visuals, ability to work at their own time and pace, and ease of repeating information. Students cited lack of discipline and poor time management as obstacles to completing the module. Changing the anatomy and physiology of the hypothalamus and pituitary gland from static images and text to an animated video significantly improved student's preference for the blended learning approach. Blended learning and the analogy was preferred by 47% of students over the traditional lecture format (21% preferred traditional lecture and 32% were indifferent) and it was more effective in helping students master this important physiological concept.

author list (cited authors)

  • Washburn, S. E., Cook, A. K., & Tayce, J. D.

publication date

  • January 1, 2021 11:11 AM