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A Student’s Perspective

Guest post by Ashley F.

Like many of my university peers, I wrapped up my freshman year of college working a summer internship in hopes of gaining valuable professional experience. Rather than relaxing on the beach, I occupied my time between June and August with electronic breadboards and ice bucket plunges. All this took place at BIOPAC where I was tasked with reviewing the BSL PRO Lessons, helping the company continue to refine and improve these teaching aids.

Let me start by confessing that I am not a physiology or anatomy major, but rather a development and psychology major. Given this difference, I did not expect to find that so many of the BSL PRO Lessons connect to what I am studying. BSL PRO Lessons stand out compared to your average textbook for multiple reasons. For me, the primary difference is that with BSL PRO Lessons, you get to watch the data take shape in real-time. And it’s not just random data, but data from your own body—your heart beating, your finger twitching, your eyes tracking a pendulum. Because the data is from you and not a textbook, the lessons are more interesting to analyze.

Throughout the summer, I worked through each “human” BSL Lesson, gaining experience with the software, equipment, and workspace. Each lesson includes a ‘background’ section that provides context to the lesson and connects each one to different concepts. This context makes the data from each lesson relevant to more disciplinary studies than just physiology and anatomy, which in turn broadens the student’s knowledge. Because BIOPAC wanted to test the materials under realistic student lab conditions, I wasn’t given much guidance on how to approach individual lessons. Rather, I would simply read the manual and follow the instructions, which turned out to be surprisingly easy as I figured out how to do most of it on my own.

With a total of 39 BSL PRO lessons, you would expect at least a few to be quite similar. And yet, BIOPAC understood the importance of unique lessons and ensured that each one had a different background section, used different equipment, and covered a different topic.

woman submerging head in cold waterEach lesson includes fun concepts to keep you engaged, like dunking your head in cold water to see how your heart rate changes in Lesson H08: Dive Reflex, using equipment to make your finger twitch in Lesson H06: Finger Twitch, or testing and timing your reflexes in H16: Reflexes & Reaction Time.

While each lesson is unique and covers a different topic in physiology and anatomy, the lessons do follow a clear progression as you move from BSL PRO Lesson 1 to 40. They start shorter, utilizing more basic concepts and equipment. Then, as you progress through the lessons, you begin to work through increasingly complex physiological concepts until you end on a lesson involving the use of a breadboard. This last lesson involves nine separate labs, each as involving as the earlier individual lessons. This amount of work may sound daunting at first, but the skills picked up while completing the previous lessons leave you well-prepared to complete the final lesson and analyze clear data.

Working through BSL PRO Lessons is a unique and interactive experience that allows students to learn, connect, and analyze personalized data from a broad range of physiological and anatomy concepts, leaving you with a well-rounded and contextualized education experience.

Learn more about BIOPAC’s education solutions, including complete teaching systems for a variety of life science disciplines. BIOPAC also provides a wide range of research systems for recording, displaying, classifying, and analyzing physiological signals & measurements.

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