The HAPS Prerequisite/Attrition Survey- Why HAPS needs your help

A message from the HAPS Western Regional Director, John Jackson.
A message from the HAPS Western Regional Director, Jon Jackson.

I want to introduce you to the HAPS Prerequisite/Attrition survey.  This survey represents the first systematic, large-scale, multi-site look at the pass/fail rates in our Anatomy and Physiology courses. The survey is currently recruiting respondents among all Anatomy & Physiology instructors in the U.S., and internationally.

The HAP Prerequisite/Attrition survey can be found at:

While not typically required for admission into medical schools, human anatomy and physiology courses nonetheless play important (and rate-limiting) roles as gatekeepers into other high-enrollment health science programs, such as nursing, occupational and physical therapy, and athletic training & rehabilitation sciences.

It is not hard to imagine any number of different factors having an impact on student success — this current HAPS survey, rather than trying to parse out differences in student populations at various institutions, is simply trying to establish some norms for instructor-reported final grades, and look for any impacts that pre-requisite course requirements may have on these grade distributions, which are our measure of student success.

In order for you to answer the survey questions effectively, you will need to have the following information close to hand from each of the courses you’ve taught over the past couple of years (ideally, this will be in your gradebook files):

(1)   From course beginning:

a)  Course number + course name (g., BIOL 2104 — Human A&P II)
b)  Pre-requisite requirements (if any)
c)  Total number of students enrolled

(2)   At course completion* — the total number of students earning

a)  A’s
b)  B’s
c)  C’s
d)  D’s
e)  F’s
f)  W’s (withdrawals)

Note:  It’s expected that for the overwhelming majority of classes, the numbers in (2) will equal the number in (1c).
While final grade distributions can be entered as percentages, we prefer raw numbers, so as to make weighting the means more straightforward.

The HAPS prerequisite/attrition survey is entirely voluntary, and has the approval of the research ethics board of Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke, Quebec, which is the faculty home of task force chair Dr. Kerry Hull.  The survey call for information about your institution, as well as some demographic data about yourself and your role(s) at your institution.  These help us paint a more detailed picture of the breadth and depth of teaching done by A&P instructors generally, and HAPSters in particular, as we collate the survey responses.

It is our hope that despite the busy time of year, you’ll dust off some of your old computer gradebook files and take part in this groundbreaking effort.  Our back-of-the-envelope calculations tell us that in order to have the necessary statistical power to draw valid conclusions about correlations, we will need over 300 respondents — more would be even better.

Everyone “knows” that Anatomy and Physiology courses are a major (choose your response):  a) roadblock, b) hurdle, c) challenge, d) accomplishment in our traditional health sciences curricula.  But no one knows exactly how major…until now.  On behalf of the HAPS Prerequisite/Attrition Task Force, I thank you in advance for your participation in this survey; we look forward to sharing our findings with our anatomy and physiology colleagues soon.

Kerry Hull  (Chair), Bishop’s University
Sam Wilson, Bishop’s University
Rachel Hopp, Bellarmine University
Audra Schutte, Indiana University School of Medicine-Evansville
Jon Jackson, Institute for Philosophy in Public Life (University of North Dakota)

Again — the link to the survey is here:

Welcome to Atlanta: Part I

Hospitality R4
A message from HAPS Hospitality Committee Chair, Margaret Long

In the spirit of Southern hospitality, the HAPS Hospitality Committee has put together a travel guide for the Atlanta Conference. As we get closer to May, the HAPS conference app will become available with a list of some of the many dining choices and activities available. The Hospitality Committee will also have a presence during the conference, so look for volunteers wearing the HOSPITALITY button if you need advice on where to go in your free time!

I have had the pleasure of living in the Metro Atlanta area for over a decade. My college years were spent at Georgia Tech and Georgia State and I would like to think that I have sampled some of the best that Atlanta has to offer. The “scene” in the city has definitely changed as young working adults move in, and their demand increases for curated experiences and local fine-dining.

The Hyatt Regency Atlanta is surrounded by over 100 restaurants and bars within a few short miles. It is directly adjacent to the Mall at Peachtree Center. For a quick bite to eat and a little bit of shopping, just head across the street! There are many dining choices for every budget and every palate. The retail stores and food court eateries, such as Chick Fil A (order a combo #1, extra pickles), are open until 6:00 pm, but the restaurants are open later. Fortunately, there is also a CVS Pharmacy inside of Peachtree Center so you can conveniently pick up toiletries that need refreshing.

As a Georgia Tech undergraduate, no football game-day was complete without a trip to The Varsity.  Inside of the famous eatery you will be asked, “What’ll ya have!” It is customary to start off with an F.O. (Frosted Orange), chili dog, and a side of indulgent, fried onion rings. As college students, our favorite “sit-down” restaurant was always Mary Mac’s Tea Room, located some miles away from campus. Mary Mac’s was the closest thing we could get to our grandma’s fried chicken and biscuits, which was a small luxury when we were longing for the comforts of home. The food is real, authentic Southern cuisine, which is evidenced by the fact that macaroni and cheese counts as one of your side vegetables! Just remember, in Atlanta all tea is iced and saturated with sugar unless stated otherwise.

For more information, please contact me directly at Be sure to download the HAPS conference app closer to the time of the conference, and keep an eye out for our friendly HAPS Hospitality Volunteers!

Next time, I’ll be back to tell you even more great things about our fantastic city.

A message from the 2016 Annual Conference Committee
See you in Atlanta!


HAPS Wants You…. to Vote! 

A message from HAPS President-Elect, Terry Thompson

Anyone who knows me realizes that blogging/social media is NOT my thing. Yet here I am with another President-elect task – trying to convince you to take time from your busy schedules to vote for our next members of the HAPS Board of Directors before March 31.  I even sank to surfing the web looking for some “Blogging for Dummies” guidance.  Then I went searching for some relevant quotes about voting that might inspire my blog post.


The first quote that seemed to fit is: “Honor the past, Support the future – Vote”.   Although this was from a U.S. Department of Defense website promoting voting among Army members, it did seem to speak to our celebrating our 30th anniversary in Atlanta this May.

VOTEThe second quote is: “Voting is the expression of our commitment to ourselves, one another, this country and this world.” ~ Sharon Salzberg.   With the December HAPS regional conference at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, this quote seems appropriate.

OK, tired of surfing, I went back out on my porch in hopes of some real inspiration for this blog.  For once, our spring break coincides with our beautiful spring weather this week.   I am certainly grateful for that, but soaking up the sunshine I also realized how grateful I am for the thoughtful response we received as our Nominating Committee reached out to nominees.  The slate of candidates you see this year (HERE) represents the greatest value of HAPS – all our members.  Every one of them has already dedicated themselves by being willing to give of their time and talents if elected.  It is now YOUR turn to give to HAPS.  By voting, you show all of our candidates, current and future HAPS leaders the enthusiasm and support of the membership that is needed to keep going another 30 years.

As my vitamin D was being activated, I realized this election will be creating my leadership team as I become President on July 1.  That is scary and exhilarating at the same time.  But I am confident in the support and assistance I will get from everyone in HAPS.  I certainly want to thank my nominating committee for their efforts: Don Kelley, Kevin Patton, and Wendy Riggs.

A message from the 2016 Annual Conference Committee

No matter which individuals you end up voting for, your vote is a vote of confidence in all of the candidates, and maybe more importantly, a thank you!    Making a little time in your schedule to say “thank you” is a great way to touch base with what matters in the midst of a crazy and crowded day.  So please, go to your email and find the link to your personal online ballot.  HAPS will be sending weekly reminders to those members that don’t vote, so that is another incentive to vote early, so your inbox doesn’t keep getting filled.

Hope to see you all in Atlanta soon,

Terry sig

Second Biennial American Physiological Society Institute on Teaching and Learning

A message from guest blogger and Americal Physiological Society member, Barb Goodman.
A message from guest blogger and American Physiological Society member, Barb Goodman.

ITL Workshop Image 1 - ITL LogoThe APS Teaching Section has planned an exciting Institute on Teaching and Learning (ITL) this summer that will feature best practices in evidence-based teaching of physiology and opportunities to move into the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) or Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER). For more information and how to register, visit the ITL website.

This second biennial institute (the first ITL was held in 2014 in Bar Harbor, Maine on June 23–27) is targeting physiology educators of undergraduates and physiology educators in professional schools with a variety of plenary talks and workshops. Participants are also encouraged to present a poster, which will be featured during a poster discussion at the institute.

At the 2014 ITL, a new Physiology Educator Community of Practice (PECOP) was formed that is open and free for all physiology educators. The Physiology Educator Community features various activities, including announcements, discussions and a bimonthly blog highlighting numerous items of interest for physiology educators contributed by a large number of guest bloggers.

The 2016 ITL will begin with an optional pre-meeting workshop on using ultrasound to teach professional students (separate registration required and participant cap). Plenary topics throughout the week will address broad aspects of teaching and learning, including faculty role in the classroom, team-based learning in large classes, testing and evaluation, online teaching resources, physiology in the professional curriculum, physiology in community colleges, and educational leadership.

ITL Workshop Image 3 - Group and PostersTwice a day, there will be three different workshop opportunities facilitated by a variety of experts and featuring a number of topics, such as flipped classrooms, using PULSE rubrics for assessment, team-based learning, beginning educational scholarship, using conceptual frameworks in teaching, using visual literacy to learn physiological principles, and working with a physiology majors interest group.

Guest keynote speakers include Jay Labov from the National Academy of Sciences (“The National Landscape in Undergraduate STEM Education: Connecting the Dots”) and Terry Doyle from Ferris State University and author of The New Science of Learning: How to Learn in Harmony with Your Brain (“A New Paradigm for Student Learners”).

ITL Workshop Image 4 - Group and PostersThe 2014 ITL had phenomenal evaluations from the 80 to 100 participants, and a number of close relationships among physiology educators were founded, leading to collaboration. In a survey soon after the institute, 95.8 percent of participants said they gained new ideas that would be useful for their teaching. In a second survey eight months later, 66 percent of participants had carried out their planned action from the institute. Because 85 percent of participants from the 2014 ITL said they were either highly likely or somewhat likely to attend a subsequent ITL, please get your registrations in soon! We are hoping to meet you at the 2016 ITL and as a member with us in the Physiology Educator Community of Practice!

For further information, please check out the institute website, or I would be happy to answer your questions at 605-658-6337 or