Evaluation and Use of an Online Data Acquisition and Content Platform for Physiology Practicals and Tutorials

Dane Anthony King, Isabel Alicia Arnaiz, Clare Gordon-Thomson, Nicholas Randal, Sharon Maree Herkes


The blended learning approach to teaching allows educators to incorporate multiple learning resources whilst making courseware available to students outside the traditional classroom setting. An online platform that interfaces easily with a range of biological and clinical equipment for real-time data acquisition was introduced for laboratory-based practicals and tutorials across all intermediate/second year undergraduate physiology courses. The traditional paper-based notes across the intermediate physiology curriculum were converted to customised interactive online modules delivered using a blended approach to learning. An advantage of incorporating online elements, particularly in the practical/laboratory context, was the opportunity to collect learning analytics to gauge student engagement with practical learning. Online delivery of content also facilitated the delivery of evaluation surveys to gauge student satisfaction with the converted courseware. The purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to examine the usage pattern of students during delivery of practical courseware via the new system; (2) to determine the impact of the platform on student engagement and learning outcomes that are evidence-based. Data analysis and positive student feedback from surveys demonstrate that the new online system improved student engagement and active participation in practicals.

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