SEMESTER PROJECTS IN MEDICAL BIOPHYSICS PROMOTE ACTIVE LEARNING
Project-based learning is used in different modifications in dependence of expected teaching aims. A specific project-based learning model for Medical Biophysics is applied at the Comenius University Faculty of Medicine in Bratislava. Semester projects processed by first-year students of General Medicine are compulsory form of teaching and their acceptance by teacher represents significant condition of successful completion of practical training.
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 front of students auditorium followed by discussion and finally submission of the project in both written and electronic form.
The content analysis of semester projects (acad. year 2016/2017) was undertaken with the following aim:
– to compare obtained results with analysis in previous academic years;
– to summarize the wide spectrum of physical applications in medical diagnostic and therapeutic methods, safety problems related to physical principles of medical equipment;
– to confirm usefulness of project-based learning.
There are some problems by semester projects processing by first-year students. Their ability to work-out semester projects is not adequate: long, uninformative text, missing structure, vague or missing conclusion. The presentation is often limited, only read the text and students auditory is not sufficiently prepared to discussion. Sometimes students submit previous copies of projects and the same topics are repeatedly presented without the knowledge promotion of the topic. This phenomenon is enhanced by new possibilities offered by internet, today.
Nevertheless our analysis has shown:
– a wide spectrum of partial physical 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.
Based on obtained results we have confirmed the relevance of project-based learning in biophysics. It facilitates cognitive and other key competencies developed by physically oriented teaching subjects and supports both individual and team study activities. It represents an effective teaching tool that is positively evaluated by students.
We also believe that project-based learning represents important motivating factor.
In the process of project-based learning students obtain certain abilities:
• thinking about a topic/problem, seeking and formulate a problem and finding a answer
• working with professional literature and information, bibliographic standards
• using scientific expressions in writing
• structuring and developing thinking operations (analysis, synthesis, comparison)
• speaking in front of professional audience
• visualizing main ideas using appropriate technical means
• accepting criticism and critically comment to other works
• evaluation, self-evaluation and self-reflection.
Contribution was supported by GP KEGA Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic № 003UK–4/2016 and 026UK-4/2017.
 BALAZSIOVA, Z. 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.