TEACHING URINARY SYSTEM ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY IN AN INTEGRATED VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT WITH A PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING (PBL)

Our Department of Physiology faces, in this academic year, a new challenge with the implementation of two new subjects: "Anatomical Basis and Physiology of the Human Body I and II". In these subjects Anatomy and Physiology are integrated, allowing the student to acquire basic knowledge about the morphology and hierarchical levels of the human body. Our challenge is not only to adapt the new subjects to the requirements and regulations set by the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), but also, to adapt to the special situation caused by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. In previous projects (PIMCD 292 (2018) and 159 (2019), the teachers of the Department of Physiology have designed a new blended learning methodology, in which traditional teaching and problem-based learning (PBL) converge, implementing the new mixed PBL methodology to the practical lessons with the inclusion of a clinical problem case to simulated environments and the development of clinical diagnostics. This new methodology was carried out in a semi-face-to-face learning environment to comply with the security measures dictated by the Faculty of Pharmacy of the UCM. This was be possible using the Virtual Campus and its Moodle Collaborate tool, ensuring its achievement and viability. For that reason, we have designed a new mixed methodology that incorporates the macroscopic and microscopic studies of the human body to the traditional PBL practical teaching, virtual simulation, and the resolution of a clinical case and we have chosen the practical lesson about “Physiology of the Renal System”. The progressive resolution of a clinical case relative to factors that modify glomerular filtration rate in a simulated environment by making a clinical diagnosis will be the basis of learning.

Thus, students will be able to solve the following curricular objectives:
1) identification of the anatomy and morphology of the urinary system by using Practice Anatomy Lab™ (PAL™ 3.1) software;
2) microscopy study of the renal tissues by using Practice Histology Lab™ (PAL™ 3.1) software;
3) measurement of the effects of changes of arterial pressure and arteriolar resistance on glomerular filtration by using simulation PhysioEX 9.0 software.

Students will be able to know the morphological and histological basis of the urinary system, to later understand how these structures work, in addition to evaluate the consequences of these changes on health and disease and their possible pharmacological treatment. In this new project, we intend to evaluate the transversal competences acquired by the students through satisfaction surveys of the students and their results in the exam marks and also to assess whether there are differences in the understanding and retention of knowledge, comparing these results with those obtained in the teaching of this same practice in previous courses, in which anatomy was not included. We expect that this integrated pedagogic methodology enables to students to learn to solve professional reality problems linking theory with laboratory exercises, acquire new transversal and curricular competences, such as involvement in their self-learning, development of a long-lasting learning, encourage the critical thinking and collaborative learning with discussion in working groups supporting participation in a non-in-person way; as well as the students' understanding of anatomical and physiological concepts, all of that is essential for the training of students on the Degree in Pharmacy.