Enhancing learning through optimal sequencing of web-based and manikin simulators to teach shock physiology in the medical curriculum

Juan C. Cendan, Teresa R. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The Association of American Medical Colleges has encouraged educators to investigate proper linkage of simulation experiences with medical curricula. The authors aimed to determine if student knowledge and satisfaction differ between participation in web-based and manikin simulations for learning shock physiology and treatment and to determine if a specific training sequencing had a differential effect on learning. All 40 second-year medical students participated in a randomized, counterbalanced study with two interventions: group 1 (n = 20) participated in a web-based simulation followed by a manikin simulation and group 2 (n = 20) participated in reverse order. Knowledge and attitudes were documented. Mixed-model ANOVA indicated a significant main effect of time (F1,38 = 18.6, P < 0.001, ηp2 = 0.33). Group 1 scored significantly higher on quiz 2 (81.5%) than on quiz 1 (74.3%, t19 = 3.9, P = 0.001), for an observed difference of 7.2% (95% confidence interval: 3.3, 11.0). Mean quiz scores of group 2 did not differ significantly (quiz 1: 77.0% and quiz 2: 79.7%). There was no significant main effect of group or a group by time interaction effect. Students rated the simulations as equally effective in teaching shock physiology (P = 0.88); however, the manikin simulation was regarded as more effective in teaching shock treatment (P < 0.001). Most students (73.7%) preferred the manikin simulation. The two simulations may be of similar efficacy for educating students on the physiology of shock; however, the data suggest improved learning when web-based simulation precedes manikin use. This finding warrants further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)402-407
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Advances in Physiology Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Computer-aided instruction
  • Curriculum planning
  • Simulation in medical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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