Archive | January, 2017

Overcome Student “Data Analysis Fears” by Making It Fun !

30 Jan
HAPS-Dais,Julie-Blog-17-0129-head shot photo cropped 2012[3].png

A message from HAPS member Julie Dais, Biology faculty at Okanagan College in Kelowna BC and coordinator of the HAPS Student Lab Data Project

What’s the problem?

Have you heard this from some of your students ?  “I chose a career in the health professions because less high school math was required.”  Many of my anatomy and physiology students become quite anxious when it comes to anything “numbers-oriented”.  I definitely see this when I return their graded midterm exams.  There are always a few students who want me to calculate their percentage on the test because they say they can’t do it.  This phobia arises again when they need to calculate heart rate from electrocardiograms of different time lengths.  They can’t do the math to obtain beats per minute with a 10 second strip (multiply the rate by 6).  Because of this, my colleagues and I have resisted incorporating analysis of the physiological data collected in the lab.

The Solution …

One of the ways I have tried to reduce this anxiety is to find interesting ways of incorporating “math” in the laboratory.  When students collect their personal physiological data, their interest in analyzing it overshadows their fear of math.  For example, during the spirometry lab students measure their tidal volume, vital capacity, and additionally calculate their FEV1/FEV ratio.  Inevitably they want to know how they individually compare to other people in the class on the basis of specific demographic information (such as sex, age, height, activity level, waist circumference, and smoker versus nonsmoker).  At this point we can look at class averages, but the class sizes are small.  This brought up the question “what if many colleges collected the same information and we found a way to pool this data?”

To get this project off the ground, I wrote an article about this new HAPS Student Lab Data Project for the HAPS-Educator (Spring 2014) and subsequently presented a poster at HAPS 2015 in Las Vegas about the content available on the Teaching Resources page.  A number of instructors have expressed interest, but we need more participants!

What physiological data can you share ?    HAPS-Blog-17-0129-Dais,Julie-EKG for poster.JPG

In addition to demographic information, the following measures can be shared:

  • Electrocardiogram – heart rate, PR interval, P wave duration, QRS duration, T wave duration (before and after exercise)
  • Blood pressure (systolic and diastolic ) before and after exercise
  • Spirometry – respiration rate, tidal volume, inspiratory reserve, expiratory reserve, vital capacity, FEV1, FVC (before and after exercise)

Students can use any equipment for physiological data collection.  Participating schools are asked to include the type of equipment such as Vernier with Logger Pro, BioPac, iWorks, etc.  In the future anyone could compare results from different devices and see if there is a significant difference.

How can you and your students participate ?

If you would like to participate, visit the HAPS – Student Lab Data Project  page on teh website. You can also navigate to the HAPS website, then click on: [Resources], [Teaching Resources], and [Student Lab Data Project].   This page provides my contact information; email me directly to receive the link to a private, editable Google Sheet (spreadsheet) for your institution (Note: Only I will have access to your Google Sheets.)  I will “curate” the data (examine it for erroneous results), move it to an Excel spreadsheet with previously pooled data, and then put it on the webpage. HOWEVER, its important to note that for privacy reasons, access to the curated spreadsheet requires one to sign in to the HAPS website (i.e. HAPS membership is required… so visit the HAPS website now to review the types of membership).

What can you do with the data ?

Instructors can give students access to the link for the Google Sheet and students can upload their physiological data during lab (they do not need a Google account).  At the end of lab, instructors could demonstrate how to calculate class averages and then demonstrate how to isolate topics of interest to calculate the average (ex. systolic blood pressure of males and females).  Comparing these results by observing if the means are similar or not is fine.  Students can then try this on their own using data that interests them.  However, if you wish to apply inferential statistics to see if the differences in the means are statistically significant, there are two templates on the webpage for this purpose.  Instructions are included.

Students have a lot of fun playing with their data.  One of my classes was especially intrigued when they discover that a 5’3″ slightly built female had an incredible expiratory reserve volume exceeding the male average by almost double.  It turns out that she had been a synchronized swimmer for 12 years!  The very fit, male Human Kinetics students in the class were humbled.

Meet the New HAPS Blog Master…

23 Jan
Version 2

A message from Brian Reid, HAPS Blog Master and GSU Undergraduate in Atlanta, GA

I’d like to extend a sincere Thank You! for the opportunity to introduce myself as your next HAPS Communications Committee Blog Master.  My name is Brian Reid and I am a non-traditional, undergraduate senior in the Neuroscience Institute of Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia.

I’d like to thank Dr. Lois Borek for referring me to Dr. Kyla Ross (HAPS Steering Committee Chair) for consideration in the TA Apprenticeship Program for Anatomy I & II. I began to teach A&P I & II Labs in the Fall semester following my Apprenticeship, and with several years experience under the direction of Dr. Ross and now, Dr. Kavita Oommen and Kathy Rockwell, I continue to enjoy this contribution to my educational experience.neuroscience-institute-final-300x109.jpg

I became a student member of HAPS in 2016 when I attended the National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. I presented a workshop entitled “Learning How to Learn A&P, a TA’s Perspective” with my co-presenter, Emily O’Connell, TA;under the advisement and direction of the convention’s Co-Chair, Dr. Kyla Ross.  We were thrilled with the overwhelming welcome and presented to more than 120 in attendance (standing room only!), and were honored to present again along with Shauna Cheesman, TA at the HAPS Eastern Regional Conference in Fort Lauderdale, October 2016.

I joined Communications Committee at the National Convention and am now happy to serve as your HAPS Blog Master for the spring 2017 term. My academic, professional, and life experiences, coupled with the advisement by Dr. Lois Borek and Dr. Kyla Ross, and now my affiliation with HAPS, a wonderful national organization of professionals, will ultimately pave the way for me to become an academic professional in the future.

I’d like to extend my gratitude to each of you in advance, for your contributions to the HAPS Blog and I look forward to working with everyone as Blog Master.  Please email me with any ideas and certainly your submissions to the blog.

I look forward to meeting each of you in May 2017, Salt Lake City, UT.
See You There !

Bests,
Brian Reid

haps_2017_sm_web_

 

HAPS – National Convention 2017 – Salt Lake City, UT

 

HAPS Membership: Lots of Options

15 Jan
A message from the HAPS Executive Director, Peter English.

A message from the HAPS Executive Director, Peter English.

So as the HAPS Executive Director, things like different types of memberships is something that gets me going.  HAPS is very inclusive, and we have lots of membership types to match your needs as members.  There might even be a few membership types you may not know about! So check out your options.

Multi-year Regular Membership – These are pretty self explanatory, but what may not be clear is how much they help HAPS.  HAPS has always had a challenge with members letting memberships lapse in years when they are not attending the Annual Conference.  These multi-year memberships really help HAPS function and give us an ability to plan appropriately for future expenses.

Conference Membership – If you register for the Annual Conference as a non-member, you will receive a complimentary one-year membership.  This type of membership is great for members expecting to come to HAPS each year, because otherwise it would exacerbate the retention challenge mentioned above.  The only member benefit not accrued to this membership type is member pricing on the next Annual Conference registration.  This membership type expires one year from the registration date.

Contingent Faculty Membership – Did you know that most organizations didn’t even have a definition of contingent faculty when this membership type was created at HAPS?  The HAPS definition definition is on our website, and this is meant to include those who likely don’t have much if any institutional support where they teach.  HAPS can be the support system for these contingent faculty who need it.  

High School Teacher Membership – There are high school A&P programs across the country and we are pleased to include these instructors in HAPS.  We also have a high-school specific discussion group that runs on the same back-end platform as the more widely known (and incredibly valuable) HAPS-L discussion group.

Student Membership – This is the membership category that we get the most calls about.  This membership is for full-time students – the kind of person who answers the question, “What do you do?” with something along the lines of, “I go to school.”  This is not intended for people taking a class here or there.  That said, we have been fortunate to have really awesome student members, many of whom have had a big impact on the organization!  Thanks students!

Retired Faculty Membership – This is an obvious category, but there are advantages to this type of membership, including a reduced cost Annual Conference registration.  Did you know that there is a related semi-secret membership for retired long-time members of HAPS?  If you are a member in HAPS for all ten years before your retirement, you can ask for an Emeritus Membership.  This is a cost-free, lifetime HAPS membership starting with the first year after retirement.  

Clearly, there are lots of options, but the most important thing is that you stay a member! We need you to renew your membership and continue to be a part of our community!  Few other organizations have as many opportunities for participation in governance, for year-round communication and collaboration, and for just plain camaraderie.