Cardiac rhythm dance protocol: a smartphone-assisted, hands-on activity to introduce concepts of cardiovascular physiology and scientific methodology


Physiology teaching resources have advanced to include innovative pedagogical approaches that meet the learning expectations of the current generation of students, while at the same time ensuring content delivery is accurate and the use of technologies is appropriate. We developed a quick experimental assay protocol to introduce the basic concepts of cardiac rhythms, and to demonstrate simultaneously that smartphone applications are a reliable and cost-effective tool for data collection in teaching the scientific method and performing physiology activities. The cardiac rhythm dance (CRD) protocol engages students in dancing a cardiac cyclelike movement to the rhythm of classical, pop, and samba music, and measuring their own cardiac frequency. Students collected their own data using the app Instant Heart Rate (Azumio). The CRD protocol allowed students to conclude that cardiac cycle-like movements paced by a pop song could represent the normal cardiac rhythm, whereas a classical song induced a significant reduction of heart rate, and the samba song significantly increased heart rate compared with the pop song. After group discussion, students considered that the pop rhythm is more realistic of day-by-day movement rhythms and is equivalent to the steady state of daily cardiac rhythms. Students considered the bradycardic and tachycardic movements to the dancing performed to the classical and samba rhythms, respectively. Thus the CRD protocol provides a multiple sensory-based and active learning resource that can engage students in learning cardiovascular physiology and recognizes smartphones as scientific instruments for collecting data during hands-on activities.

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Advances in Physiology Education


American Physiological Society

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