A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF CLINICAL APPLICATIONS OF MEDICAL BIOPHYSICS THROUGH SEMESTER PROJECTS?
A specific project-based learning model for Medical Biophysics is applied at the Institute of Medical Physics, Biophysics, Informatics and Telemedicine of Comenius University Faculty of Medicine in Bratislava in order to acquaint first-year students with the physical principles of the modern diagnostic and therapeutic methods.
Students identify the topics of the projects at the beginning of semester and work on them with timetable agreed by the teacher. Final stage involves the presentation of the results in students auditorium followed by discussion and finally submission.
The content analysis of semester projects was undertaken with the aims: to compare obtained results with analysis done in previous academic years; to summarize the wide spectrum of physical and biophysical applications in medical diagnostic and therapeutic methods, safety problems related to physical principles of medical equipment; to confirm usefulness of project-based learning.
We analyzed 234 semestral projects submitted by first-year medical students in the interval 2013/2014–2016/2017 according to their content. 18,8% of them dealt with the physical topics, 50% belonged to diagnostic applications and 32% described applications of medical biophysics in therapy. We have created a database of semestral projects containing a wide spectrum of partial physical topics connected with medical applications reflecting actual needs of medical practice.
Based on obtained results we have confirmed the relevance of project-based learning in medical biophysics. It represents an effective teaching tool that is positively evaluated by students. We also believe that project-based learning represents important motivating factor.
There are some problems by semester projects processing by first-year students. Their ability to work-out semester projects is not adequate. They used long, uninformative text, missing structure, vague or missing conclusion. During presentation of semestral project they only read the text and students auditory is not sufficiently prepared to discussion. Sometimes students submit not their own original work, but obtain it from the internet.
Nevertheless our analysis has shown:
– a wide spectrum of partial physical/biophysical topics connected with medical applications reflecting actual needs of medical practice;
– low frequent/difficult topics of semester projects should motivate teachers to pay more attention to them in the teaching process.
Contribution was supported by GP KEGA Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic № 003UK–4/2016 and 026UK-4/2017.
 KRALOVA, E. (2010) Contentual analysis of semestral projects in medical biophysics. Research in Didactics of the Sciences. Krakow : Pedagogical University of Krakow, 2010, p. 211-213. ISBN 978-83-7271-636-1.
 KRALOVA, E., BALAZSIOVA, Z. (2012) Core competencies and their developing in the project learning. Research in Didactics of the Sciences. Krakow : Pedagogical University of Krakow, 2012, p. 40-43. ISBN 978-83-7271-765-8.
 BALAZSIOVA, Z. (2014) Level of elementary physical knowledge in health-care professionals may be the reason for innovative teaching of (Bio)physics. New Technologies in Science Education Kraków : Pedagogical University of Kraków, 2014. p. 38-40.