To do this, I developed a simple experiment that involved the use of different weight dumbbells. The experiment was designed using the Lab Station software (AD instruments) that could measure real-time force and generate plots which would enable the students to understand the whole concept of length-tension. I prepared a video, showcasing the experimental setup, relevant terminologies and brief concept of muscle contraction along with examples from daily life situations like holding a book or lifting a heavy bucket. I shared the video with my students via the department's YouTube channel prior to the lesson in class for them to review out of class and as part of their independent learning.
Prior to the in-class session, I conducted two pilot runs of the experiment with my technologists in order to check if there were any issues with the software or the design of the laboratory set up. During one of these pilot runs, I realized that students need to know how the learned knowledge can be applied in daily life such as while lifting a chair or grocery bag or why doing physical therapy helps patients with muscle disorders. In addition, I developed relevant applied anatomy questions and used the Mentimetre and Kahoot as testing tools. I also built student feedback into the tools later.
On the day of the actual in-class session, I observed a positive impact of all these changes on my learners. Not only were they able to understand the concept but their performance in response to questions on the topic also improved in the subsequent examinations.
In conclusion, post laboratory session based on “Q&A sign off activity", where students had to perform a scenario [such as perform a wall sit or stand on tip toe] and explain the length-tension relationship curve; revealed that the changes not only substantiated student learning but helped me to identify and clarify students' misconceptions on the spot, thus increasing my students' interaction and engagement. I was able to identify the mightiest aspect of my lesson, which was the student interaction and feedback; and the muddiest moment was the slow internet speed we experienced during the online quiz. This latter experience taught me to always have a contingency plan, such as keeping at least 3-5 hard copies of the quiz ready should the internet fail or be extremely slow.
Acknowledgement: Special thanks to Sabah Farhat, Mussarat Ashraf, Masnoon Akhter, Fizza Nazim, Mahwish Fatima who all conducted the laboratory session with me.