I'm too embarrassed to learn

Submitted by Sonya Zetlan on

In teaching Muscle function, I have always used an activity where I physically demonstrate the actions to students. Students then stand and work in pairs, mimic the movements on their own body, and evaluate their partner's motions. I circulate and correct with each new motion. When doing the activity as a class, and only their partner is working with them, students think this activity is fun and interesting. The class is excited and loud. However, in the next section where they review with their lab group of 4, they are reluctant to continue the motions on their own, and seemed embarrassed by three people evaluating them. To overcome this issue, we ordered small wooden artists models of the human body that move at the joints. Students work in groups of two and make the models do the motions. I list a series of actions (arm abduction, neck flexion, knee extension), and the students must place the models in the correct position. There is much more interacation and interest in the assignment when they have this "toy" to play with. Quiz grades for muscle actions have gone up (to be posted).  

Completed Full Cycle
Course Number
BIO 201
Average: 4 (2 votes)


Becky Baranowski Tue, 01/21/2014 - 1:20pm

I like this interactive way of teaching.  It's amazing what we can learn when we can actually get out hands on the material.  I look forward to seeing your posted results.  

Peter Turner Wed, 01/22/2014 - 8:12am

Sandy, I really like how this has been a continual search for the best way! I remember a prior CATS where you decided to use body movement. Now, you're not satisfied with those results, so you tried something different. This is truly the action research cycle. Make sure you mark that this a completed cycle when you post your data.

Erik Stenehjem Sat, 01/25/2014 - 11:05am

Those models would work great, and less distracting than the GIJOEs that I once tried to use.

Erik Huntsinger Mon, 02/17/2014 - 1:44pm

Sandy, I think you have a great CATS here.  All you need to do is post how well your students did with the models (hopefully compared with students before the models), and mark the CATS form as "Yes" for completed cycle, and I wouldn't be surprised if you'll be in the running for a CATS of the Month award.