The program can replace the use of animals in practical classes of Physiology and Biophysics, taught courses in Medicine, Life Sciences, Nursing and Physical Education.
The educational software, called Fissionable simulates the same procedure traditionally done in frogs in class, but in an interactive and playful and without the need of sacrificing the animal.
Furthermore, the simulator supplement teaching by providing additional content that enhances learning.
“The goal was just to propose an alternative to animal use without the school was damaged,” explains biologist Cube Francisco Note, who developed the simulator under the guidance of Professor Michael the Archangel Areas.
The software is in the process of patenting and, according to the biologist, there are similar products in Brazil.
In general, the use of frogs occurs in the practical lessons for the evaluation of spinal reflexes by chemical and mechanical stimulation. Are important concepts for the discipline, from a past lecture.
Following in the lab, students visualize how reflections occur with the intact animal and then repeated the same experiment with animal model with spinal lesions.
“The understanding of the content is essential and, until then, there was another demonstration of the mechanism unless using an animal model. Therefore, the Fissionable is a further option, in addition to covering all subjects taught in the classroom,” explains Michael.
He said the program has the additional, compared to traditional classes, a display of exercises, which appears on every topic in order to enhance the explanations.
Also included are resolutions of case studies to assess whether the level of absorption of the content by students. In each of the screens are given a feedback to the student.
Finally, the incisions are made in parts of the animal by means of animation, with the advantage of being able to repeat the experiment several times to improve fixation of the concept.
“When class is done in the laboratory, there is the possibility that something might go wrong. For example, anesthesia can affect misapplied the experiment and the animal does not respond to stimuli or die. With this, you must use another animal,” explains .
The simulator was tested with four groups of courses offered by Unicameral. Of students from two classes in Biology, Medicine and another one in Nursing.
All for a total of 127 students, made the lecture as normally occurs in the conventional method. Next, students were divided into two groups: one group performed the traditional classroom practice, with the animal model, while the other held a practice session with Filtrates.
To assess the level of influence on learning when using the new methodology, a questionnaire was administered at the end of practice session for the two groups.
The results showed that the Fissionable fulfills its objectives, for the highest marks were observed in the group using the software. That is, the group that used the simulator hit more questions, while the other group had more difficulty in answering the cognitive questions.
The biologist believes the program can still be improved.
Most importantly, however, is that the initiative opens the way for other methodologies to replace the use of animals in practical classes.