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ERIC Number: EJ986617
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Sep
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 14
ISSN: ISSN-1043-4046
Overcoming Misconceptions in Neurophysiology Learning: An Approach Using Color-Coded Animations
Guy, Richard
Advances in Physiology Education, v36 n3 p226-228 Sep 2012
Anyone who has taught neurophysiology would be aware of recurring concepts that students find difficult to understand. However, a greater problem is the development of misconceptions that may be difficult to change. For example, one common misconception is that action potentials pass directly across chemical synapses. Difficulties may be compounded by explanations using voltage-time graphs, since students are not necessarily familiar with oscilloscope or computer-based representations of neural signals. Several different approaches have been used to overcome such misconceptions and provide simple explanations of complex physiological processes. These range from using groups of students acting out concepts to the use of a "travelling flame" analogy for nerve conduction. E-learning using animations provides an additional method for overcoming physiology misconceptions. Internet-based instruction in the health professions may be similar to traditional instruction in effectiveness, but it is important to clarify when to use e-learning and how to use it effectively. Thus, an online self-directed e-learning module was developed, using best-practice approaches, to engage students and help them overcome some common neurophysiology misconceptions. The essential features of the module were: (1) the use of well-designed and simple (low cognitive load) animations intended to promote good learning outcomes; and (2) the use of multiple-choice questions linked with the animations to provide immediate feedback. (Contains 1 figure.)
American Physiological Society. 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814-3991. Tel: 301-634-7164; Fax: 301-634-7241; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia