Simulations of Experiments
Simulations of experiments common to most undergraduate courses which may be used to support or, in some circumstances, as alternatives to laboratory practical classes, particularly those which use animals or animal tissue. Simulated tissue responses are generated, either from actual experimental results or from predictive models, and presented on the monitor screen, in high resolution graphics, in a form comparable to that in the real experiment. This could be, for example, a storage oscilloscope, a scrolling chart recorder, a millivoltmeter or any other physiological recorder.
Students are expected to simulate performing experiments, changing experimental parameters from easy-to-use, windows-like menus, and collecting data in much the same way as they would if they performed them in the laboratory. In many cases the programs use text and colour graphics to describe the preparation, the apparatus, methods and the underlying physiology and/or pharmacology. Some contain self-assessment questions or student-centred tasks. Students work at their own pace and most take readily to this form of teaching, often requesting to use the software in their own time for independent study.
For some programs documentation (program manual and,where appropriate, student's workbook and tutor's notes) are also provided.