Assessment of Learning Using a Remote Access Magnetic Resonance Imaging Laboratory

Roger M. Bourne, Kashmira Dave, Peter L. Kench

Abstract


The extremely high cost of clinical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems and potential safety hazards precludes their use in student laboratories. Consequently, radiography students have traditionally learnt MRI physics by textbook alone. We have developed a remote access benchtop MRI system that provides students with 24/7 access to experimental learning exercises. Students work their way at their own pace through a series of guided measurements and experiments that progress from basic magnetic resonance phenomena to imaging and contrast manipulation. Learning is assessed by formative barrier quizzes that ensure appropriate progression, contributions to guided online discussion of the experiments, interpretation of experimental results, evidence of exploration beyond the guided experiment, discussion of the relevance to clinical imaging, and critical reflection on the learning experience. Student feedback on the experimental MRI learning experience has been extremely positive and all claim to have achieved an understanding of MRI theory concepts that is difficult to grasp from textbook descriptions alone.

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