A commonly cited conceptual challenge in medical education is cardiovascular physiology. This seems to be a consistent finding at different educational levels (Mikkila-Erdmann, 2012). If applying the T-GEM model (Khan, 2010)to teaching this, I would organize it as follows:
- I would provide some background content information, such as the definition of cardiac output, mean arterial pressure, heart rate, and systemic vascular resistance (total peripheral resistance)
- Have the students pair up and access the following simulator: https://ilearn.med.monash.edu.au/physiology/Cardiovascular/index.html
- on the Home tab, have the students look at the relationship between cardiac output, mean arterial pressure, and heart rate
- have students generate a relationship between the above variables (by seeing what happens to these variables during different activities)
- Based on this relationship, have students predict what will happen to these variables with postural change
- Have students run the postural change simulation and evaluate the relationship
- Have students review their initial predictions and compare to the relationship that was observed through the simulation.
- ask students to modify their initial predictions/relationships based on new data.
I think this method will offer students a chance to challenge their conceptual models by simulation and make modifications as needed. In trying to find software for TGEM in the medical context, I ran into a significant challenge. This is because a lot of medical simulations were for clinical skills or other technical skills improvement, and not for the purposes of understanding certain phenomena. But I do think this is a great way to learn and really understand concepts in a deeper more meaningful way (compared to the superficial rote memorization that is still common in medical education). I hope that simulations that examine concepts in my field become more readily available as time goes on.
Khan S. New Pedagogies on Teaching Science with Computer Simulations. J Sci Educ Technol. 2010;20(3):215-232. doi:10.1007/s10956-010-9247-2.
Mikkilä-Erdmann M, Södervik I, Vilppu H, Kääpä P, Olkinuora E. First-year medical students’ conceptual understanding of and resistance to conceptual change concerning the central cardiovascular system. Instr Sci. 2012;40(5):745-754. doi:10.1007/s11251-012-9212-y.