Monday, February 28, 2011

Prezi practice practicals

In my blog The Electronic Professor, I recently wrote about the Prezi alternative to PowerPoint presentations.

In a nutshell, Prezi creates large, complex sets of information that you can zoom into either at will or in a preplanned way.

As I was exploring around the Prezi presentations that have been made public, I found a great idea . . . why not use Prezi to create practice lab practicals?

My students always find it hard to get ready for practicals.  Obviously, part of the issue is the massive amount of content that we ask them to learn.  But, perhaps more imporatantly, it's hard for them to imagine the kinds of questions that they are likely to get. We set up "practice practicals" in our open lab when we can . . . and that helps a lot.  But wouldn't it be great to have an easy to access online place our students can practice for their praticals?

Well, Rob Swatski at the York Campus of Harrisburg Area Community College (York, PA) has already cracked this egg!

Take a look at his Virtual Lab Exam for muscles in A&P 1.

You have to start clicking around and get the feel for how this practice lab practical is set up . . . but once you have the hang of it, it's amazing.  You can see how students can practice the content and also get a feel for EXACTLY the kinds of things they'll be asked to do on their practical.

Another idea that Rob came up with is shown in this presentation that introduces the microscope.  Rob uses the particular characteristics of Prezi to full advantage to produce a resource that is useful for both teaching and learning in the A&P lab.

Imagine how useful this sort of thing can be for
  • online tests and quizzes for labs
  • exploring large, complex anatomical structures in a lecture class
  • virtual dissections
  • student presentations
  • zooming in on tissues or bone markings while teaching histology
Let's hear YOUR ideas!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Concept Lists and Concept Maps

I've recently posted two new videos that help students learn A&P to my YouTube channel.

You are welcome to use them in your course by linking to them or by embedding them in your website, LMS (learning management system), or PowerPoint presentation.  Or you can just keep them in mind when students come to you looking for study tips.  Or they may just spark some ideas of your own!

Concept Lists - A Powerful Study Strategy 
Running concept lists are a great way to build up what you are learning layer by layer, while at the same time learning relationships between different concepts. If you run your concept lists faithfully, you will also have a handy "personal encyclopedia" of concepts and how they are related.  (Closed Captioned)

The Concept Lists video is also embedded in one of my Lion Den Study Tips & Tools pages entitled Concept Lists.

Concept Maps - A Learning & Study Strategy 
Concepts maps (mind maps) help you understand relationships in human anatomy and physiology in ways that deepen understanding. This video summarizes what a concept maps is, how to make and use one, and outlines some examples of different styles of concept maps.  (Closed Captioned)

The Concep Maps video is also embedded in one of my Lion Den Study Tips & Tools pages entitled Concept Maps

Want to present your own version of any of these study tips? Perhaps embed parts of them into your own presentations? You are welcome to use the slides, which can be found in the Lion Den Slide Collection.  (To use the slides, you'll need the password for downloading them.  Just fill in the form to get the password if you don't already have it.)
When using the direct links, you need to have the super-secret, magic password ready!

Want more slides? More study tip materials to share with your students?  In an upcoming post, I'll be sharing a few more, ok? 

Don't forget that your students can keep up with all these study tips (and more) on their own by subscribing to my blog The A&P Student.

I have some handy (and bizarre) bookmarks giving students information about The A&P Student blog that you can distribute FREE to your classes!  Just go to my bookmark request page to get bookmarks for your students now.