Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences

First Advisor

Camille DiLullo, PhD

Second Advisor

Marina D'Angelo, PhD

Third Advisor

Dawn Shell, PhD


A student may possess the necessary skills to enter graduate level programs but may still struggle with metacognition and self-directed learning. The focus of this study is to provide targeted resources to graduate level students that will both facilitate learning and guide advancement of metacognitive skills. The general study design included the creation of digital learning modules for a single course, their distribution to students as well as the evaluation of student access and course performance. The learning modules, designated ‘Preview Pal’, were structured to creatively engage learners with varied learning style preferences in order to benefit all students in a general student cohort. The Preview Pal learning modules were created specifically for use in a graduate level anatomy course. The learning modules were limited to covering the upper limb anatomical region. The Preview Pal learning modules were made available to students through the course learning management system. Student access of the Preview Pal learning modules was tracked through the learning management system. Student course performance in examinations was also assessed. In addition, student communications indicated that for a large number of students the Preview Pal learning modules were valuable for the facilitation of learning. Preview Pal may help students facilitate their own learning based on three conclusions. First, Preview Pal was significantly accessed by the majority of the class during the term in which access was tracked. Second, based on survey data students self-reported that Preview Pal helped them to facilitate their own learning. Finally, Preview Pal appeared to improve test scores for students who used it.