Active learning in physiology practical work

  • NJ Allers University of Limpopo, Medunsa Campus, Pretoria, South Africa
  • NJ Vreken School of Education & Training, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, Potchefstroom, South Africa


This article describes and evaluates two different teaching-learning approaches during pulmonary practicals in physiology. The one experimental group of students did the practical according to the conventional method used in the past, where students were more passive in the teaching-learning environment. The teachinglearning strategy for the other experimental group was designed to stimulate more active learning in students. A quantitative study by means of a questionnaire, as well as a qualitative study by means of interviews, determined the students' responses on five different variables that contained the key concepts of the objectives of this research. A statistical analysis of the results indicates that when students are actively involved in the teaching-learning process, they enhance their ability to use cognitive skills such as interpretation, judgement and problem-solving skills. The results also underline the importance of an active approach towards practical work and emphasis ideas such as group work, co-operation, full participation, small group discussions and the scientific work method.

South African Journal of Higher Education Vol. 19(5) 2005: 853-862

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1011-3487