Guest post – Digilearn: Engaging students in physiology: Is technology the answer?

Published by Caroline Carlin on

Author: Greg Littler – Senior Lecturer (School of Health Sciences) 

I have been teaching anatomy, pathology and physiology across the school for the past few years, more specifically in physiotherapy. No matter what the healthcare course, there seems to be the same discussions between staff. How do we engage students in an area that they can find challenging and difficult to relate to their clinical context, for example; “why does this matter to me? I want to be a physiotherapist.”  

This year we have been trialling Visible Body for assisting in the delivery of some of our anatomy and physiology modules. These have been uploaded onto the iPad available in the anatomy lab in Greenbank building. We have used the iPad in practical anatomy classes in the teaching of anatomical regions, and using the iPads review anatomical structures that they can palpate on each other. In the lab I have been using them in more of a class room set up. I have been mostly using them in small groups of 2-3 to allow students to collaborate and work together, however there are enough iPads for them to use one each if the class suited it. The other good thing about this way of working was that I could link up one to the projector and then students could follow me if they needed additional support.  

I’m not saying this is the solution to all of the problems, but I have found it easier to use than some A+P resources we have had access to previously. My learning so far has been; I like the fact that all students are using the same platform (rather than different books etc) it makes it easier to guide students. I like having the iPads in the class room rather than students on their own devices (this reduces likelihood of on social media etc). It takes some time to get to grips with specifically how you are going to use them to support the tasks or teaching. 


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