Impact of Computer Simulations on Physiology Training

Period of Performance: 03/01/1993 - 02/28/1994


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Individual Award--modell, Harold
Seattle, WA 98115
Principal Investigator


Within the past several years, considerable concern has been voiced by physiologists and other health science professionals regarding the reduction in qualified applicants for research training programs (both graduate and post-medical school). One significant factor that discourages students from pursuing research careers may be that students completing undergraduate and medical school curricula have seldom been exposed to and have little practice with problem solving skills characteristic of a productive research environment. Computer simulations offer a potential vehicle through which these skills can be acquired and practiced. However, no objective data addressing this potential are available. This project (SBIR phases II) will provide simulations in gastrointestinal and endocrine physiology for educational and training environments that will be used to test the following hypotheses: 1) use of computer simulations as student "laboratories" enhances physiological problem-solving skills; 2) involving undergraduate students in active learning "workshop" environment in which an instructor and students work with simulations together as a group to examine a physiological system enhances students' ability to solve physiological problems; and 3) Use of physiological simulations as self-study aids enhances physiological problem-solving skills. No extensive software is currently available in the areas targeted by this proposal.