Spotlight On Teaching


Dr. Deborah Wendland, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy, recently completed a study on the effect of 3-D toy models on anatomical and biomechanical learning relative to self-reported spatial ability for first year Doctor of Physical Therapy students.  Dr. Wendland instructed students in the use of Tinkertoy® construction sets to create 3-D models of the hip to demonstrate anatomical and biomechanical properties of this joint.  Students completed a survey of spatial ability and pre- and posttest quizzes on the content. Results demonstrated improvement in student pretest to posttest scores, regardless of student self-reported spatial abilities.  According to Dr. Wendland, “This study supports the importance of using multi-modal teaching strategies to meet diverse student needs.” This project was funded by a College of Health Professions Scholarship of Teaching and Learning grant.  Dr. Wendland presented this project at the 2016 Combined Sectional Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association, and is preparing a manuscript of the results for future publication.