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Pedagogical innovations, ideas, and outcomes designed to enhance student learning in physiology courses are encouraged by our professional organizations and are actively discussed at conferences and in Advance in Physiological Education. Here, we report our experiment with freely available internet-based material as a substitute for the textbook for a single chapter on muscle physiology in a sophomore-level Human Physiology course. Student reactions to the textbookless curriculum were registered with the use of a questionnaire. Their responses indicated that they enjoyed the online material (animations, images, reviews, etc.), the emphasis on important concepts, and the variety of resources. Furthermore, students were almost unanimous in their praise for such pedagogical approaches to science education. Yet, students were reluctant to part with their textbooks. We believe that with subsequent iterations of this course we will be more successful at further separating the learning experience from the textbook. Reliance on freely available material may eventually relieve students from the burden of purchasing a costly textbook.
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