Building capacity through open approaches: Lessons from developing undergraduate electrophysiology practicals

Abstract:  Electrophysiology has a wide range of biomedical research and clinical applications. As such, education in the theoretical basis and hands-on practice of electrophysiological techniques is essential for biomedical students, including at the undergraduate level. However, offering hands-on learning experiences is particularly difficult in environments with limited resources and infrastructure. In 2017, we began a project to design and incorporate electrophysiology laboratory practicals into our Biomedical Physics undergraduate curriculum at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. We describe some of the challenges we faced, how we maximized resources to overcome some of these challenges, and in particular, how we used open scholarship approaches to build both educational and research capacity. The use of open tools, open platforms, and open licenses was key to the success and broader impact of our project. We share examples of our practicals and explain how we use these activities to strengthen interdisciplinary learning, namely the application of concepts in physics to understanding functions of the human body. Our goal is to provide ideas, materials, and strategies for educators working in similar resource-limited environments.