Small-Group Activity to Reinforce the Impact of Valvular Defects and Heart Failure on Cardiac Pressure-Volume Relationships

Mari Hopper, Johnathan Tune, Richard Klabunde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: An important topic in cardiac physiology is the relationship between changes in intracardiac pressures and volumes during the cardiac cycle. This topic lends itself well to utilizing active learning principles to facilitate student understanding of pressure and volume changes in normal cardiac physiology and in the pathophysiology of valve disease and heart failure. We describe an active learning exercise regarding this topic that engages and facilitates student learning in a small-group setting. Methods: Following an overview lecture on the normal cardiac physiology, small groups of students under the guidance of a facilitator were provided with a worksheet consisting of questions related to background knowledge of cardiac physiology. Additional questions related to five valve disease and heart failure cases were also provided to promote the application of basic physiology principles to clinically relevant problems. The facilitator was provided with a guide to help facilitate the student interactions. Following the group worksheet activity, an animated slide presentation was shown to further engage student learning through active discussion of their worksheet answers. Results: Students were assessed by written examination, and were found to have a higher performance on the subset of questions related to this learning activity compared to the overall exam. Of the 175 students completing the exercise, 23 voluntarily provided feedback via a survey. Student surveys provided overwhelmingly positive feedback on the benefits of this active learning exercise. Discussion: Small group, active learning exercises benefited student learning by providing a framework for analysis, synthesis, and application of clinically relevant cardiac physiology concepts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10675
Number of pages1
JournalMedEdPORTAL : the journal of teaching and learning resources
StatePublished - 6 Feb 2018


  • Active Learning
  • Cardiac Cycle
  • Cardiac Physiology
  • Echocardiogram
  • Pulmonary Capillary Wedge Pressure
  • Systolic Dysfunction
  • Valve Disease
  • Ventricular Pressure-Volume Relationship


Dive into the research topics of 'Small-Group Activity to Reinforce the Impact of Valvular Defects and Heart Failure on Cardiac Pressure-Volume Relationships'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this