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Learning Activities
Nursing 2260: Pathophysiology 2

Visual/Multimedia Teaching In Pathophysiology


"The use of technology and collaboration needs to be encouraged more than ever at the level of higher education, in order to prepare our students for the workplace. The worksite of business and industry is becoming ever more global, and people must become active questioners and investigators if they are to succeed. Thus, at the college/university level the role of the instructor needs to shift more and more from that of disseminator of information to that of facilitator of learning."

- Ben-Jacob, M. & Levin, D., 2000) . .

Traditionally, images such as photographs or line drawings have been common in pathophysiology and health teaching. Obviously, anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology are much easier to understand if a visual representation of the topic is available. Only recently, since the very late 1990's, have multimedia and visual tools for teaching been available using the world wide web.

"The WWW is different from the other technologies in the distance ed toolset in one fundamental way: it is a comprehensive, "virtual" environment for delivering a wide variety of technologies which we are accustomed to thinking of as discrete, including text, still graphics, animation, audio, video (simple, low-end video), and (increasingly) interactive programming. The additional hypertext functionality of the WWW-which creates a linked or "webbed" environment instead of a linear one and permits easy and direct movement among related resources regardless of where in the world they are-provides substantial added value to WWW-based programming.

The WWW is a completely asynchronous environment accessible from any Internet-connected personal computer, providing a great deal of flexibility to the learner while maintaining easy, central management of the learning resource and straightforward, immediate correcting or updating of content. The WWW currently integrates at the personal computer level with other Internet resources including electronic mail, list servers, news groups, and "chat"; the WWW "browser" (primary access software) is incorporating access to these other Internet resources into its functionality and will in the future incorporate additional functionality, notably some form of desktop videoconferencing. It engages the learner and, by its very nature, encourages the use of learner-centered teaching strategies. The WWW is rapidly emerging as a universally-recognized environment for information management, education, entertainment, business and commerce, and many other uses," (Distance Education Strategies & Technologies Planning Team, 1996).

Another emerging medium for providing interactive teaching and coaching in prevention, chronic illness management and health promotion is the field of video games for health. Several of the top video design companies have recently turned their attention to applying the architecture and principles of designing entertainment based video games to the health education field. As well, some researchers and designers are beginning to offer web based games for health student patient education as well as therapeutic activities.

Ends in View

This learning activity is intended to give the learner the opportunity to:

1. Appreciate the positive benefits of using available online visual and multimedia tools in learning pathophysiology.

2. Develop search and research skills for finding appropriate multimedia resources on the world wide web.

3. Distinguish the unique qualities of visual and multisensory learning experiences in nursing education and practice.

In Preparation

EXPLORE: the following visual and multimedia resource web sites for augmenting your education in physiology, health challenges and pathophysiology:

  • Healthology Consumer Health Library at http://healthology.com/content/consumerhealthlibrary/ Several pathophysiological topics are explored using web based videos, presentations, text transcripts, and resources, specifically prepared for public education.

  • HONmedia's Medical Images directory - http://www.hon.ch/HONmedia/

  • Medscape Reference: Drugs, Diseases, and Procedures. - http://emedicine.medscape.com/

  • Managing Complications in Pregnancy and Childbirth at http://www.who.int/reproductive-health/impac/index.html The World Health Organization (WHO) offers a full diagnostic manual intended for midwives and doctors, which covers a large assortment of pathophysiological complications. The manual is available on the web as html pages and as a downloadable pdf ebook. The format of the manual focuses on clinical principles, symptoms, procedures, and essential drugs.

  • MedBroadcast.com: Health Video & Audio Clips (Quicktime) - http://www.medbroadcast.com/

  • Molson Medical Informatics: - Student Multimedia Projects - http://sprojects.mmi.mcgill.ca/

  • PathCaps at http://www.path.uiowa.edu/pathcaps/index.html from the University of Iowa offers PathCaps, or Computer Assisted Patient Simulations for Pathology Education, a web based interactive case study area where students can test their knowledge of pathophysiology.

  • Science and Nature: Human Body and Mind at http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/body/index_interactivebody.shtml The BBC presents a number of web based interactive physiology games and challenges to help the general public learn about the body, including the organs, muscles, skeleton, senses, nervous system, puberty, sleep, and gender tendencies. Another section addresses mental aspects, including intelligence, memory, emotions, instincts, mental disorders, personality, individuality and general psychology.

  • The Reconstructors Solve Medical Mysteries at http://medmyst.rice.edu/ Rice University's Center for Technology in Teaching and Learning created several interactive, engaging, and educational web based Flash games to help students learn about infectious pathophysiology and prevention. The games are supplemented with downloadable teacher resources, testing materials, teacher workshops, a magazine and links.

  • The Virtual Pediatric Patient: - http://www.virtualpediatrichospital.org/

  • Virtual Patient Reference Library at http://research.bidmc.harvard.edu/VPTutorials/ The Carl J Shapiro Institute for Education and Research at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center presents simple, straightforward tutorials on a variety of pathophysiological topics, ranging from HIV to Diabetes.

In Practice

1. As you move through the learning activities in your pathophysiology classes, augment your resources by searching for visual and other multimedia on the internet (use resources listed in the "In Preparation" section to start).

2. Keep track of the resources you use and compile them in a cohesive list in your wordprocessing program. Share your list with your classmates and instructor on a regular basis.

3. Participate in class discussion regarding the current available resources online that pertain to this course's content. Envision the ideal online resources. Share your vision with your classmates and instructor.

In Reflection

1. Do you feel that you learn pathophysiology and other course content easier when you use visuals and multimedia resources? Why?

2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using internet materials in your coursework?


Ben-Jacob, M. & Levin, D. S. (2000). Collaborative Learning Networks: An Integral Component of The Educational Environment of the New Millennium. Available Online: WWW: http://www.rcce.sc.edu/ssst/99proceedings.html

Distance Education Strategies & Technologies Planning Team. (1996). Teacgubg with Technologies at KU Medical Center http://www.kumc.edu/de_strategies/final_report.html#changing

HONmedia's Medical Images directory - http://www.hon.ch/HONmedia/

LookItMed - Medical Imaging Finder: - http://www.emedicine.com/asp/lookitmed.htm

MedBroadcast.com: Health Video Clips (Quicktime) - http://www.medbroadcast.com/

Molson Medical Informatics: - Student Multimedia Projects - http://sprojects.mmi.mcgill.ca/

The Virtual Pediatric Patient: - http://www.virtualpediatrichospital.org/

World Book Medical Encyclopedia: - http://www.rush.edu/worldbook/media.html


Nursing Informatics Integration for the BSN in Nursing Program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Design & Content by June Kaminski, RN MSN PhD(c) - 1999 - 2011
All rights reserved. No reproduction without written permission