Misadventures of a Flipped Classroom: Inflate-A-Date

8 Feb
A message from ComCom member Mia Ray, Assistant Professor of Biology at Trinity Washington University in Washington DC.

A message from ComCom member Mia Ray, Assistant Professor of Biology at Trinity Washington University in Washington DC.

Imagine walking into a store and asking the salesclerk if they wouldn’t mind directing you to their section of blow up dolls. That’s the exact situation I found myself in after following through with my first of many crazy active learning ideas. It was important to find just the right tool to kick off my first attempt at flipping, the criterion was specific: it couldn’t be offensive whatsoever. As I perused the merchandise I spotted exactly what I was looking for: Sensational Inflatables.

I began the class by reviewing important anatomical terminology. After a 15 minute lecture I then instructed students to get into two groups of three. Each group was then given 10 minutes to inflate their female or male specimen and label each anatomical region using appropriate terminology with provided sticky notes. In addition to their notes, students were also allowed to use their textbooks. Students energetically popped open their “person” and got to work.

Inflatable human specimens...

Inflatable human specimens…! Brilliant!

To determine the winner, the class and I went through each region label by label. There were several duplications and cavities, but when all was said and done, there was a clear winner. Each group member was given a prize for winning, but the greatest accomplishment was that they were all engaged and learning.

To conclude the activity I gave students a formative assessment to measure student learning and everyone received a passing grade of 65% or better, with three receiving perfect scores. This success carried over to a summative assessment completed two weeks later where four students showed retention of information based on two receiving perfect scores and two showed an improvement to their original scores. Two students however showed a decrease from their previous grade, which gives me something to improve upon. Although it was a little wacky and unconventional and didn’t result in a total class improvement in student learning, I think it was a great way to begin the semester. Overall this experience hasn’t frightened me away from flipping; rather I’m charging ahead and giving it my all.

Publish your Work with HAPS

1 Feb
A message from Dr. Kerry Hull, chair of the HAPS Educator committee.

A message from Kerry Hull, chair of the HAPS Educator committee.

Last week we published a blog post about some of the recent developments for the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society’s journal, the HAPS Educator.  This week, we’d like to really recruit you to populate this journal with your work.  The fact is, HAPS members are writing amazing and useful articles, but we are spoiled for choice – should their story be shared as one of the weekly posts in the HAPS blog?  Or is it more appropriate as a short, but helpful Edu-Snippet? Or should it be published as an article in the HAPS Educator? And if so, which section of the HAPS Educator is most appropriate? Or is the work so fantastic that it can be leveraged for all three platforms?

In an effort to help members clarify the answers to these questions, the HAPS Educator Committee teamed up with the Communication Committee to develop a plan for helping future authors identify how their work might be featured by HAPS.

First, the committees needed to clarify exactly what each new venue could feature. In the end, it was decided that the destination for a submission will depend both on its focus and its length, and five submission categories were identified (summarize here):

  • HAPS Educator Educational Research, which features papers discussing pedagogical research projects supported by robust data.
  • HAPS Educator Current Topics, which promotes articles that summarize a particular concept area and also include short descriptions of how the concepts can be utilized in our teaching.
  • HAPS Educator Perspectives on Teaching, which includes pieces that discuss a teaching philosophy or modality. Papers published in this section could include lengthier descriptions of teaching activities without accompanying data.
  • Edu-Snippets, which are short descriptions of learning activities.
  • Blog Entries, which can provide feedback during the early stages of a research project or simply provoke discussion.

Then a flowchart was developed to help authors decide which of the five submission categories would be the best venue for publishing.

To use the chart, just start at the top and answer the boxed questions as you work your way to the bottom, where the five different publishing options are listed.

Got data? Follow this flow chart to see where to publish your work with HAPS!

Got data? Follow this flow chart to see where to publish your work with HAPS!

So get to it. We know you have materials to share- the next HAPS Educator submission deadline is March 15.

Note: When you are ready to submit your work to the HAPS Educator, we have a brand new online submissions form for you. The form ensures that we have all of the necessary information to publish your article and then to upload it to the Life Sciences Teaching Resource Community (LifeSciTRC). Click here to access “Instructions to Authors,” which includes all of the information that you need to get started!

Send Us Your Submissions Now!

  • Sarah, Editor-in Chief, is happy to answer any questions about publishing in HAPS Educator that are not addressed in the Instructions to Authors.  You can reach Sarah at editor@hapsconnect.org.
  • Roberta, Snippet Queen, is waiting to receive your Edu-Snippets submissions at edu-snippets@hapsconnect.org.
  • Wendy, Communication Committee chair, is waiting to receive your Blog entries at wriggs@hapsconnect.org.

Your NEW HAPS Educator!

25 Jan
A message from Dr. Kerry Hull, chair of the HAPS Educator committee.

A message from Kerry Hull, chair of the HAPS Educator committee.

The latest edition of the HAPS Educator is out, and it looks AMAZING!  Kudos to Sarah and her team for adding “buttons” on the title page to immediately bring up the articles and for updating the format so brilliantly.  You may have also noted that the title page looks very different – the articles are now divided into categories.  Read on to learn about the how’s and the why’s of this change.

Following up on Valerie O’Loughlin’s President’s Initiative (2013-15), the HAPS Board of Directors tasked the HAPS Educator with refocusing the journal to promote educational scholarship by its members.   However, we still wanted keep the journal open for some of the other types of articles that have proven beneficial to our members, such as topic updates and learning activities. So we began the process of reorganizing the journal to meet all our goals.  While meeting with HAPS leadership in Atlanta in October, we teamed up with the Communications Committee to develop a plan.

Check out the latest, high tech edition of the HAPS-EDucator!

Check out the latest high-tech edition of the HAPS Educator!

First, all submissions must now have an educational focus.  Be it a topic update or an experimental paper, the author must explicitly show how the article is relevant to better classroom practice.  Second, authors now have five distinct publication options and the destination for the submission will depend both on its focus and its length.   The submission categories include:

  • HAPS Educator Educational Research: Papers published in this section of the HAPS Educator discuss pedagogical research projects that are supported by robust data. Eventually, we hope to include these articles in an educational research database such as ERIC.
  • HAPS Educator Current Topics: Papers published in this section of the HAPS Educator will be crowd favorites and will provide a summary of a particular concept area.   New for 2016, they will also include a short description of how the information can be used in our teaching.
  • HAPS Educator Perspectives on Teaching: Articles published in this section will discuss a teaching philosophy or modality. Lengthy (more than 500 words) descriptions of teaching activities without accompanying data are also welcome in this section.
  • Edu-Snippets: These useful nuggets are short descriptions of learning activities. These have always been a very popular part of the HAPS Educator, and in order to make them even MORE useful, we are developing a database of all Edu-Snippets, organized by body system, as a MEMBERS-ONLY RESOURCE!
  • Blog Entries: If you want feedback during the early stages of a research project or want to provoke discussion, think about writing a BLOG ENTRY! Blogs are most effective if they are less than 500 words, although if you have more to say than that (don’t we ALL have more to say than that?!), consider putting together a series of blog entries.

So, fellow educators, we need your input to bring all of these possibilities to fruition.  Our next HAPS Educator submission deadline is March 15. Click here to access “Instructions to Authors,” which includes all of the information that you need to get started!

Send Us Your Submissions Now!

Welcome Back, HAPSters!

18 Jan
A message from the ComCom

A message from the ComCom

We here at HAPS hope you had a restful and rejuvenating holiday. We’ve been preparing for a fun spring blog season, especially as we get ready for the famous Annual Conference, this year being held in Atlanta, Georgia.

It is a good time of the year to solidify your plans for the Annual Conference.  There are some significant deadlines coming up, so get ready!

First, poster and workshop proposals are due on Friday, February 26, 2016.  Early bird registration rates also end on February 26, so you might as well get all of those things done soon.

Come to Atlanta!

Join us in Georgia!

The Hyatt Regency Altanta is the host hotel.  Our conference rate is discounted to $149/night (+ tax). Make your reservations online or by calling 1-404-577-1234 (and don’t forget to mention you are with the HAPS group!).

Every year we have the entertaining HAPS Fun Run/Walk and this year is no different. Pre-register for the event and pay only $15.  Don’t wait, because on-site registration for the HAPS Fun Run/Walk will be $20.  All proceeds from this fun event support the HAPS Foundation, which administers the many grants, scholarships, and awards available to HAPS members and their students. These awards support the mission statement of the Society, which is to promote excellence in the teaching of human anatomy and physiology. 

Finally, HAPS has brokered a fantastic deal with Delta airlines, so you might be able to save some money on the flight if you click here and use code NMMSH.

Don’t wait. We are excited to see you in Atlanta.  And if you need a reminder of all that HAPS has to offer you, just check out the HAPS video, filmed at last year’s Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas.


Welcome to HAPS, Caitlin!

21 Dec
A message from HAPS President-Elect, Betsy Ott.

A message from HAPS President, Betsy Ott.

After many years as the HAPS Business Manager, Shanan Atkinson has decided to accept a new position and will be leaving her current role. HAPS uses Association Services Group (ASG) for the business office tasks like accounting, contracts, and organizing the logistics of our conferences – they handle these duties for a number of organizations. This means that HAPS is in good hands with highly qualified people ready to step into Shanan’s shoes.


Shanan Atkinson leaves HAPS in very good order.

Shanan leaves us with our affairs in good order: HAPS Atlanta is pretty much all set, and HAPS Salt Lake City planning is on firm ground. All aspects of HAPS/ASG business are carefully documented and filed. Brittney Roberts and Stephanie Boyd, ASG employees who have worked our conference for years, will still be with us. Brittney already handles many of our email communications, so if you have questions or concerns, you should have no fear of getting lost in the transition.
Charles Hall, President/CEO of ASG, has communicated personally with both Peter and me to make sure we will be happy with Shanan’s replacement. We were given the opportunity to review and ask questions about the decision.


Caitlin joins HAPS as the new Business Manager!

After careful consideration, I’m pleased to announce the appointment of Caitlin Hyatt as the new HAPS Business Manager.
Caitlin has worked for ASG for nearly 4 years; she had 3 years prior experience in a similar organization. She has been the assistant executive director (working with Shanan) for 2 of Shanan’s other groups: AACA, the American Association of Clinical Anatomists, and DGA, Direct Gardening Association for about a year now.Both of these groups were enthusiastic about Caitlin’s promotion to Business Manager with the departure of Shanan.

I’m sure Caitlin will fit in well – here is her personal narrative:
“A little bit about me on a personal level: I’m an active mom of a lively 10 month old son, who loves to run. In my spare time I enjoy listening to podcasts, reading, and baking (much to the dismay of my husband’s personal fitness goals).”
Please join me in wishing Shanan well, and in welcoming Caitlin to HAPS!  
Betsy Ott


Can you see yourself in a HAPS leadership position?

7 Dec
A message from the HAPS President Elect, Terry Thompson.

A message from the HAPS President Elect, Terry Thompson.

As our thoughts and efforts focus on the ending of Fall semester, planning for the busy holiday season and the beginning of a new semester in Spring, I want to ask you all to consider adding one more thing to your list– HAPS leadership.  Each year we elect representatives to the HAPS Board of Directors.  One of my responsibilities as President-Elect is to chair the annual Nominating Committee and solicit potential candidates for the upcoming open leadership positions.   We are currently accepting nominations for candidates to fill the four HAPS offices with terms that will end this year.  These offices are: President-Elect, Treasurer, Eastern Regional Director, and Western Regional Director.  You may be nominated by a colleague, or you are welcome to submit your own name to the Nominating Committee before January 15, 2016 in order to be considered.  Feel free to send any questions or nominations to me at tthompson@hapsconnect.org.

Can you see yourself working with HAPS leadership?

Can you see yourself working with HAPS leadership?

We are all excited as Kyla Ross leads the Annual Conference Planning Committee as they get ready to welcome all of us to the HAPS 30th annual conference in Atlanta, Georgia in May.  This is a time to celebrate as we recognize and acknowledge the dedication and great leadership of so many HAPSters that has brought this organization to where it is today.  Bill Perrotti’s new-found blogging bug (aka Geezer Gab) has helped all of us realize not only how much has been accomplished, but how much fun we’ve all had along the way.

It is also an exciting time of growth and potential as we reach the mid-point of the HAPS five-year strategic plan.  Will you be able to share your leadership skills to keep the organization going strong for another 30 years?  Do you know a fellow HAPSter that would be great leaders, but might need some encouragement?

As I was skimming through archive HAPS Educator issues looking for an Edu-Snippet I wanted to give a try to add some spice to my last unit this semester, I came across an interesting note.  There in the Summer 2012 (Vol. 16; Issue 4) article I saw a list of the “First-timers” from the Tulsa 2012 Conference.  Sure enough, there among the list was Kyla Ross!   I am sure she had no idea back then she would be hosting the annual conference just a few years later.  If you aren’t ready just yet for the Board, you might want to consider becoming more involved as a member of one of the HAPS committees.  Your time and talents will be put to good use in many different ways asynchronously throughout the year.  I can assure you from my own experience that this is a rewarding and exciting opportunity to interact with your fellow HAPSters.  I feel I always get so much more than I give.  

Now for the more technical details: All discussions of potential candidates will remain confidential within the Nominating Committee.  The Nominating Committee will review all nominations and verify willingness to serve.  Working with me this year on the Nominating Committee are Don Kelly, Foundation Oversight Committee Co-chair and past President (2011-2012); Kevin Patton, past President (1997-1998); and Wendy Riggs, Communications Committee Chair.  A final slate of candidates will be recommended to the Board of Directors for approval in March, with a maximum of two candidates for President-Elect and maximum of three candidates for each of the other offices.  The final candidates will be asked to provide a biography and position statement for the April ballot.  

All of the elected officers serve on the Board of Directors during their term. All Terms will commence July 1, 2016.  The Board meets twice a year in person: mid-year during a weekend in October at the location of the next annual conference and several days prior to the annual conference.  The work of the Board is conducted the rest of the year through scheduled monthly e-meetings and synchronous conference calls, and other asynchronous communication as needed.  

Descriptions of the roles and responsibilities of each office can be found in the HAPS Governance Documents available on the HAPS website.  Below is a short synopsis of each office that will be filled in the 2016 election:

Election to this office actually involves a three-year commitment, one year each as President-Elect, then President, and finally Past-President.  This provides a year-long training period assisting the President to ensure a smooth transition to the presidency the following year.  The President, in consultation with the Board, provides direction and guidance by establishing and managing the policies and affairs of the Society.  Following the President’s term, they become Past-President to provide leadership continuity and help assure strong future officer succession.  

The Treasurer is the chief fiscal officer of the Society, one of the official signing officers, and serves on the Executive Committee.  The Treasurer oversees all financial transactions, keeps financial records and prepares the annual budget in consultation with the Board of Directors and Steering Committee.  The Treasurer’s term of office is for two (2) years, but there is no limit to consecutive terms.

Regional Directors (Eastern & Western Regions – see website for boundaries):
Although each Regional Director serves as a representative of one of the four HAPS regions to ensure diverse geographical representation on the Board of Directors, they are elected by the entire membership.  They act as a liaison between the region’s constituency and the Board and promote increased involvement of the region’s membership in the activities of the Society, including regional conferences.  Each Regional Director’s term of office is for two (2) years.  Regional Directors may not serve more than two (2) consecutive terms.

The Robert Anthony Scholarship: Applications due 12/1

30 Nov
A message from HAPS President Emeritus, Bill Perrotti.

A message from HAPS President Emeritus, Bill Perrotti (with help from Gary Johnson).

Were it not for the vision and tenacity of Robert (Bob) Anthony, there might never have been the organization so many of us have come to love so much, the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS). Bob, now retired, was a longtime A&P professor at Triton College outside Chicago. Back in 1987, the organization that came to be known as HAPS was created when Bob and some colleagues from in and around the Chicago area hosted the first Anatomy and Physiology Workshop at Triton College. Following a second meeting at Triton in 1988, HAPS was officially “born” and since then has grown into a vibrant professional society of A&P educators from throughout North America and well beyond, boasting a membership that approaches 2000. Bob, in his typical quiet, out-of-the-spotlight fashion, served as a major driving force for the formation of HAPS and as an engaged advisor during those early years but did not assume the presidency until 1995 following the annual conference in Beaumont Texas.

Those of us “old-timers” who know Bob from his years in HAPS before retirement think of him first and foremost as just a genuinely nice guy. None of us have ever heard him say a bad word about anyone. He always looked for and found the best in everyone. He had a wealth of ideas and strategies to share and he shared them willingly, but he was always more interested in what you thought than what he was thinking. He was a force, albeit a quiet force, for quality teaching and professionalism. His willingness to put forth the effort to host and organize those first two meetings at Triton College and his savvy to tune into the enthusiasm that they generated were the reasons that we have HAPS today. He is, of course, way too modest to ever agree or acknowledge that.

Bob Anthony is truly a HAPS elder statesman. He is the epitome of a dedicated educator in that he wants every student to get the best possible education and fulfill his or her potential. He cares deeply about education, his students, and his colleagues. His rich history in HAPS is testimony to that.

The Bob Anthony scholarships that helps get the next generation of new A&P educators connected to the wonderful HAPS network and off to a solid start so they can better serve their students for many years to come is the perfect way to honor Bob. And receiving the award makes you a part of Bob’s wonderful legacy. And as you can see from the photo below, Bob continues to do good for others.

Bob Anthony (far left) in 2009, doing service work in Nicaragua with the organization Nicaragua-Direct.

Bob Anthony (far left) in 2009, doing service work in Nicaragua with the organization Nicaragua-Direct.

The photo is from 2009 of Bob in Nicaragua as part of a Nicaragua-Direct team of workers. Fittingly the organization’s mottos are:

“Together, we do make a difference in peoples lives.”
“Service Beyond Self – Always.”

Professor Sam Drogo and the ADI Drogo Scholarships

23 Nov
A message from HAPS President Emeritus, Bill Perrotti.

A message from HAPS President Emeritus, Bill Perrotti.

Until his sudden passing in 2010, Sam Drogo spent his entire 36 year career teaching human anatomy and physiology at Mohawk Valley Community College in upstate New York. He was then and remains to this day honored and respected by the many students and colleagues whose lives he touched during this time. He discovered the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society in 1991 at the Greenville, South Carolina conference and remained energized by and committed to the goals of HAPS since that time. In his involvement in HAPS as in his career at MVCC, he quietly led by example.  In his uniquely humble way, Sam created a life filled with initiative, accomplishment, and dedication to his family, students, colleagues and friends. In the process, he made us better people and better educators.

Sam Drogo, the man who inspired this scholarship.

Sam Drogo, the man who inspired this scholarship.

Sam had the mind of a scientist and the instincts of a teacher and mentor. As a scientist, he was curious, logical, dogged, and insightful. As a teacher and mentor, he was compassionate, engaging, enthusiastic and organized. He inspired students to rise to the intellectual challenges he provided and he quietly motivated his colleagues to be innovative. Later in his career, he was recognized by the State University of New York with a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Over his many years at MVCC, Sam quietly established himself as an important element in hundreds of wonderful success stories of students who overcame adversity and forged significant careers in place of lives not yet fulfilled. He shared his expertise and passion with colleagues across the nation and was recognized as a force for innovative and involved education. As one former student said after his death, “Remember, there are a lot of RN’s who can pay it forward because of Mr. Drogo.”

Bevo&HAPS Mafia

Drogo, leading member of the HAPS Mafia…and Bevo, the cow.

Sam’s involvement with ADInstruments goes all the way back to ADI’s origin as MacLab. He liked the product from the start and stuck with it through each and every new iteration. He loved how adaptive and modifiable the system was because it allowed for the creation of different new lab activities. Leading students in the performance of science in lab…those were the times Sam was at his best. He understood the ADI system well and, more than anyone, could manipulate and adjust it “on the fly” effortlessly in order to achieve success in lab. His feedback and interaction with ADI’s technical staff helped make the system better and more user friendly. It is because of the fact that Sam so ably modeled the skillful use of ADI technology as a teaching and learning tool that ADI established the Sam Drogo Technology in the Classroom Award following his death. Those in HAPS who knew Sam well recognize what an honor it is to be selected for one of these scholarships.  Apply now – all HAPS scholarships are due December 1 this year.

Drogo doing what he loved most...

Drogo doing what he loved most…


ADInstruments has been generously increasing the number of Drogo Awards in recent years.

ADInstruments has been generously increasing the number of Drogo Awards in recent years.

Reward Great Teaching with Thieme

16 Nov
A message from the HAPS Executive Director, Peter English.

A message from the HAPS Executive Director, Peter English.

In Fall 2014 the phone rang and it was Mike Roseman from Thieme, a publisher of textbooks.  Mike is the Director of Sales for North America.  Thieme had always had good experiences with HAPS and is a regular exhibitor at Annual Conferences and now he wanted to find ways to work with and support HAPS even more.  He asked what we thought would be a great way to do that, and so in addition to the 30% discount Thieme offers to all HAPS members and their students (just use code “HAPS30” at checkout), Thieme is helping HAPS celebrate great teaching.  It was as simple as that – Thieme wanted to help and a few months later, Terry Thompson was the first recipient of the HAPS-Thieme Award for Excellence in Teaching.  

As part of a larger partnership that includes 30% off all Thieme products for HAPS members and students, the HAPS leadership is proud to announce a new award to recognize and reward excellence in undergraduate A&P instruction.

As part of a larger partnership that includes 30% off all Thieme products for HAPS members and students, the HAPS leadership is proud to announce the second year of an award to recognize and reward excellence in undergraduate A&P instruction.

This award is important for HAPS because great teaching is the heart of HAPS.  The recipient of this award will be nominated by a peer, be vetted by a committee of dedicated HAPS members, and be celebrated at the Annual Conference.  This is the largest single award that HAPS offers, and it includes both a $1500 cash award and also complimentary registration for the 2016 Annual Conference in Atlanta.  

Come to Atlanta!

Come to Atlanta!

The recipient must attend the Annual Conference to receive his or her award.  But he or she also has to come because we’re not crazy– we’re not going to give an award for great teaching and then not get to experience some of that great teaching!  So the recipient also gives the HAPS-Thieme Excellence in Teaching workshop, which gives us all an opportunity see the teacher in action.

Do you know someone who is a great A&P teacher?  Why not take a moment to nominate that person?  All you will need to do is write a few short paragraphs and get the person you are nominating to acknowledge that he or she is willing and able to come to the Annual Conference.   Like all HAPS awards, we have worked to make the application/nomination process as streamlined as possible.  

Nominations are due December 1.

Meet us in Atlanta– HAPS can help!

10 Nov
A message from the ComCom

A message from the HAPS ComCom

After last week’s post by HAPS Executive Director, Peter English, most of us are ready to make travel arrangements to Atlanta!  So it seems like a good time to talk about how HAPS can help you get there. Because if you’re looking for financial assistance in getting to Georgia in May, HAPS has your back.  Here are four awards available to help you make it happen.

NOTE:  ALL of these applications are DUE by Tuesday December 1, so get your things together and apply now!

The Sam Drogo Technology in the Classroom Award
This award is given to someone who demonstrates innovative use of technology to engage undergraduates in human anatomy and physiology. Two awards are available, both sponsored by ADInstruments.
Award: Up to $500 to attend the HAPS annual conference.

Robert Anthony Scholarship
This award is given to new instructors in A&P with the goal of helping new faculty network with seasoned professionals during their first five (5) years of teaching anatomy and physiology by attending the HAPS annual conference.
Award: Pays for registration fee at the HAPS annual conference.

Contingent Faculty Scholarship
This award is set up to encourage Contingent Faculty to network with seasoned professionals by attending the HAPS annual conference.
Award: Covers registration fee at the HAPS annual conference.

HAPS Graduate Student/Postdoctoral Travel Award
This award is given to graduate students or postdoctoral students who attend and present at the HAPS annual conference.
Award: $400 cash and annual conference registration fee is waived.


See you in Georgia!

Come to Atlanta!


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