Tunes in the Zoom Room: Remote Learning via Videoconference Discussions of Physiology Songs.

Academic Article


  • As most instruction has been forced online, biology instructors have become acutely aware of the many advantages and limitations of online teaching. Here, we investigate one possible advantage of online education: the ease of allowing remote guest speakers to interact with students in real time. In particular, we piloted a model in which guest speakers could facilitate direct music-related interactions with students, possibly benefiting students' content knowledge and sense of community. In the context of an undergraduate animal physiology course, face-to-face lessons on arterial blood gases and the renal system were supplemented with videoconferences with a guest speaker who presented relevant content-rich songs and led class discussions of the lyrics. Survey and test data suggested that, after each of the lessons, the students (i) had increased confidence in their understanding of the material, (ii) performed better on objective test questions, and (iii) attributed their learning chiefly to the musical intervention. While our approach awaits further exploration and testing, this report provides preliminary evidence of its feasibility and offers practical suggestions for others who may wish to give it a try.
  • Authors

  • Halpin, Patricia
  • Crowther, Gregory J
  • Publication Date

  • 2021
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 22.1.60
  • Volume

  • 22
  • Issue

  • 1