I didn’t want just to know the names of things. I remember really wanting to know how it all worked. Elizabeth Blackburn
I teach introductory Anatomy & Physiology lecture and lab at our local college. Most of my students are interested in careers in the health care professions with many of them hoping to enroll in the Nursing Program at the college (but also Dental Hygiene, Radiology Technician, etc.). These courses can be quite challenging for some students, they struggle with the volume of memorization, depth and pace of content, time management, and the level of consistent effort required for successful completion. I spend a lot of my time thinking up new strategies for how to connect students to the content in a way that engages them and allows them to develop competency in the subject, and hopefully for them to enjoy it at least a little bit! If your interested in collaborating on innovating how we teach introductory anatomy courses at the college level, please reach out through the contact tab.
A&P 1 Lecture Videos
Here are a couple sample videos I provide students as "back-up" to lecture and I also use these in my online course. To help students access the content in the textbook (it's a big book, there's a lot of content and they may not have had much practice with this in previous classes) I try to keep my video lectures tight to the text (Martini's Visual Anatomy & Physiology - 3rd Ed), so they can see the connections and feel comfortable studying from the textbook. I do throw in a few little things that I think students might find particularly interesting, I believe these are called seductive details, and the jury is still out on whether it's good methodology or not!
Here is a link to the entire video series - you are welcome to view but these videos cannot be used for any purpose other than teaching and learning and absolutely never for commercial or profit use. Please provide attribution as appropriate. Contact me for permission if you are not sure about your application. *And note there could be honest errors in any video as I make them in real time without post-production editing.
Guided Notes - A Close Reading Exercise
Many of my students just graduated from high school (and right now, that means 3 years of pandemic learning) and then they get walloped by A&P! These students will not thrive under the old paradigm of a bunch of lectures and four exams in a semester. They need much more scaffolding and support, so I pulled an activity from my previous life teaching biology to tenth graders, the Close Reading Exercise. I have discovered my students struggle with reading the textbook, they can read the words, don't get me wrong, but they can't distinguish between the main ideas and the supporting details or how to target the content most likely to be assessed. And then it feels overwhelming and they give up. So I created a series of questions for each Chapter and select some publisher diagrams, it gives them a crutch as they approach the assigned readings, plus writing down information helps their brains start to form pathways for the content. It's a win-win. Here are a couple of samples that I whipped up my first semester:
I am doing LOTS of thinking about the student laboratory experience. The traditional paradigm is pretty much still in play here and it's evident in student performance. I've had some luck with sending out weekly emails that indicate what and how they should study each day, maybe it gives them a sense of control, I'm not sure, but I'm going to keep it up this fall and be even more intentional with it. Also, I've been working on developing robust practice practicals for student use, not all students use them (or use them as required for learning) but those that do seem to benefit. In the near future, I intend to post examples of these here as well, so check back!
The other big piece is what students are doing during the actual laboratory time. Unlike other science courses, they are not in a wet lab or doing experiments in A&P 1, instead, it's really just more instructional time and some practice time for students - but they are reticent in actually using the models to practice, they don't seem to love working with one another, and filling out a lab manual isn't super exciting either - if you know of effective and engaging ways to teach topics such as medical terminology, integument, bones, and muscles or if you'd like to collaborate to innovate, I'd love to discuss with you, so please reach out!