The Latest in Physiological Education: A Report from ITL

Physiology educators gathered last month in Madison, Wis., for the third APS Institute on Teaching and Learning (ITL) conference. Attendees discussed the latest trends in science education through a series of talks, interactive workshops and poster sessions. Read on to learn more about what’s new and what’s next in the classroom.

A performance form with excellent checked off

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As recently as a couple of decades ago, the idea of online learning was in its infancy. The physical classroom was the center of the action when it came to delivering and receiving course content. As a result, the students who attended lectures were likely to outperform those who skipped class. However, researchers from the University of Central Florida College of Medicine found that the grades of medical students who skipped non-mandatory class sessions in favor of reviewing digital content didn’t suffer.

Researchers from the University of Iowa also found online learning to be beneficial to students. Their study showed that students performed better and were less anxious when they attended a “blended” course, which presented online content together with some face-to-face teaching.


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Don’t beat yourself up the next time you’ve forgotten something you’ve studied. Your memory is making room for new information, which actually plays a positive role in learning. Robert A. Bjork, PhD, from UCLA, explained to ITL attendees how forgetting can enrich and enhance learning and shouldn’t necessarily be thought of as a bad thing.


Researchers at ITL also discussed:

Read more highlights from this year’s conference.

Erica Roth 

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