Memory vs. Reasoning

Submitted by Sonya Zetlan on

Our goal was to raise the grade of muscle lab practicals. A muscle practical requires recognizing/naming 60 muscles, and stating  the action of those muscles. I hypothesized it should be easier for students to learn three rules and 8 joint movements, and reason out the muscle actions,  than it would be to memorize 60 names.  Students recieved a list of the name, origin, insertion, action of 60 muscles  a website showing muscle clay images,  flashcards,  and animations.  They built muscles in clay and discussed them with partners. Integration of new technques in S2013 including mandatory modeling of movements and outloud repetition of names resulted in improvement in student scores in identificatin of muscles and their actions. In an effort to improve student reasoning skills, all parts of their grade improved. 

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Average: 3.8 (8 votes)


James Cerven Tue, 01/08/2013 - 11:36am

Sandy. Your idea is very hands on and interactive. Building the muscles and discussing them with each other is a form of roll playing. I think building the muscle is a great way to help them actually remember it long term. Sometimes with memorization they will forget as soon as the test is over. It will be interesting to see the results.

Sonya Zetlan Tue, 01/08/2013 - 12:38pm

In reply to by James Cerven

You know, I think I will try a small pop quiz (maybe just one muscle!) about the previous week's muscles to see if they can reason out the action even if they forget the name.  Good idea to test.

Marianne Smith Thu, 10/10/2013 - 2:13pm

I thought this was a neat idea when I first saw it, Sandy. I'm wondering if you're still using it, and if you've managed to collect more data on student performance on the practical.

Bronwen Steele Tue, 10/15/2013 - 10:56am

Sandy, did you add data from Spring13?