Student critical thinking is enhanced by developing exercise prescriptions using online learning modules

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Department or Administrative Unit

Biological Sciences

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Developing the ability to think critically is an important element of under-graduate physiology education and is influenced by many factors, including the learning environment, the social context of the learning environment, and the instructor’s approach to teaching. In this work, we describe online learning modules (OLM) that were designed to promote higher-order critical thinking skills in students enrolled in an upper-division Exercise Testing and Prescription course. The OLM provided students with an online learning environment in which to review clinical physiological details from authentic patient case data and develop exercise prescriptions (ExRx), by requiring students to critically analyze authentic patient case histories and collaborate on computer-based learning activities. On the basis of assessment data, we conclude that the OLM helped exercise science students develop the critical thinking skills necessary for development of effective exercise prescriptions by requiring them to think critically while concurrently reinforcing lecture-presented exercise science content.


This article was originally published in Advances in Psychology Education. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Advances in Physiology Education


© 2002 American Physiological Society