Comenius University in Bratislava, Faculty of Medicine (SLOVAKIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN16 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 5175-5178
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.2220
Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The pedagogical project “Innovation in the content, forms and methods of practical exercises of Biophysics and Medical Biophysics to the study of Medicine and Biomedical Physics“ deals with improving the quality of teaching these and related subjects (courses) in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree of university education. The outputs of the project are intended to upgrade the practical exercises of Biophysics for medical students studying in Slovak and English language.
The aim of this paper is to describe a new task introduced into practical training as a problem-based learning as well as a part of the project solution.

Materials and Methods:
The practical training on Biophysics is oriented both physically and physiologically. In the second area, there are two tasks dealing with biophysical analysis of biosignals. For simplicity, a standard 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) record was chosen. In one of the tasks, students have to measure the wave amplitudes and durations of all parts of a suitable chest lead; from a suitable bipolar limb lead they have to evaluate the mean heart rate including basic statistics. In the second task, students have to construct the electric heart axis based on Einthoven triangle what includes measurement of amplitudes and drawing of vectors. These tasks can be performed by individual work.

To make the practical training more attractive, a new task was proposed dealing with simple measurement and evaluation of heart variability from one limb lead. This task requires co-operation of two or three students mainly during measurement. They have to measure a short record of all three bipolar ECG leads. Then they have to decide, which of them has the tallest R waves. In this lead they have to evaluate the heart rate variability using automatic evaluation of data. Possible artifacts (incorrect recognition of R waves) have to be removed from the record. Numerical and graphical outputs (basic statistical description of RR interval duration and scatter plots) have to be evaluated and discussed. In all three ECG tasks, the students have to compare the obtained data with corresponding reference data, i. e. to decide, whether the results are physiological or non-physiological.

The practical training on Biophysics is intended to teach the students to understand the physical principles of measurement of different quantities, to understand measurement errors and to manage the numerical, statistical and graphical evaluation of data. Although most difficulties for students occur when they have to solve a problem, when they have to combine some facts or interpret obtained results, we think a good physician has to learn this as soon as possible. Therefore, we introduced the simple heart rate variability evaluation task.

Supported by the project KEGA 020UK-4/2014, Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic.
Problem-based learning, practical training.