Date of Award

8-2013

Level of Access

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Teaching

Advisor

Leonard Kass

Second Committee Member

Natasha Speer

Third Committee Member

Michael Wittmann

Abstract

An Introductory course in Anatomy and Physiology is an essential body of knowledge for students ranging from nursing to pre-medical training. Although, there are a range of professional careers that require students to take anatomy and physiology, not much research has been done to examine content issues students may have. An investigation of students enrolled in an introductory anatomy and physiology course and an advanced physiology course, at the University of Maine, will be used to determine if this population of students understands cardiovascular phenomena, such as pressure/flow/ resistance, or do they simply memorize terms associated with the physiology of the system? A previous study done by Michael’s and his colleagues, in 2002, found that students have difficulty understanding the relationship between cardiac output, mean arterial pressure, and peripheral resistance. With this information I developed ten- question survey where each question altered one or more variables in the equation: Cardiac Output = Mean arterial Pressure / Peripheral Resistance. The present study was conducted in order to examine whether the findings from that previous research could be applied to physiology coursework delivered at the University of Maine. Recommendations are made based-upon these findings.

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