It is definitely time to start thinking about the HAPS Annual Conference. Described by MANY as the best, most friendly, and most FUN conference you can attend, HAPSters start counting down to the next Annual Conference the day after the previous one ends!
So if you’re planning on attending the HAPS Annual Conference in San Antonio May 24-28, here are a couple of things to add to your To Do list this week.
The conference promises to be amazing, as always. There will even be an opportunity to participate in a bird watching trip with HAPS Executive Director Peter English and famous birder Victor Emanuel. (If you are interested in this, sign up soon!)
In every class, there is at least one student who simply stands out from the rest. S/he is enthusiastic, motivated, bright, and just gets fired up by learning about Anatomy and Physiology. S/he is authentically interested in what you have to say and treats the learning experiences you offer as the amazing opportunities they really are. These rare students often fuel you through each semester, and they truly make teaching the incredibly rewarding profession it is.
HAPS not only values its teaching members, but it values the students who inspire and fuel these fantastic teachers. So if you have (or had) a student this year (2014-15) who is particularly exceptional, consider nominating her/him for the Primal Pictures-HAPS Scholarship.
The goal of this scholarship is to promote excellence in anatomy and physiology, encourage innovation and celebrate learning. The winning student will receive a cash award of $1000, free entry to the Annual Conference in San Antonio, and up to $1100 for reimbursement of travel expenses.
Welcome back from the holiday! The Communications Committee (responsible for maintaining this blog) took a restful break and we’re fired up and ready for a new set of fun blog posts.
Not surprisingly, while the Communications Committee (fondly known as the ComCom) was enjoying good food, the rest of the HAPS leadership was hard at work maintaining this great organization. True to the theme describing all the amazing resources HAPS has to offer its members, today’s post is about a new partnership garnered over the break.
HAPS works hard to provide its members with high quality teaching resources and the intention of this blog theme is to make sure HAPSters know what is available to them. And true to form, instead of sitting back and admiring the good work that has been done, the HAPS leadership has been busy pursuing additional resources and conveniences for its membership. This is evidenced by a recent addition to the HAPS website.
HAPS enjoys a strong partnership with the American Physiological Society (APS). This is the society that maintains the Life Science Teaching Resource Community (formally known as the APS Archive of Teaching Resources), which was featured in a series of HAPS blog posts last year. HAPS has always been a partner with APS and has actively contributed resources to the LifeSciTRC. For example, materials developed in HAPS-I courses have always been published in the LifeSciTRC. However, in the last few weeks, HAPS Executive Director Peter English has taken this partnership a step further. Peter put together a page within the HAPS website that explicitly brings together the materials from these HAPS-I courses since 2012! The resources are organized into collections that put all course content in one easy to access link.
So check out this latest addition to the wealth of resources found on the HAPS website.
If you’re looking for financial assistance in getting to San Antonio in May, HAPS has your back. There are four awards available to help you make it happen.
ALL of these applications are DUE by 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: Awards 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 annual conference.
The project stemmed from a desire to increase student interest in data collection and analysis by allowing them to share their data with other students around the world who were conducting similar experiments. It was also hypothesized that sharing data could result in a larger pool of data for under-represented groups which may include students in higher age categories, smokers, elite-level athletes and possibly even males.
The project includes three different spreadsheets to choose from:
EKG – heart rate, PR interval, P wave duration, QRS duration, T wave duration (before and after exercise)
Heart Rate and 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)
All three spreadsheets also include the following demographic parameters: gender and age (both mandatory), and ethnicity, BMI, waist circumference, activity level, and smoker (all optional).
Any equipment for physiological data collection can be used. There is a column for inputting the type of equipment used to gather the data, such as Vernier with Logger Pro, BioPac, iWorks, etc. Contact Julie Dais to receive your private Google Docs spreadsheet for your institution, which will enable you to contribute data to the project. You do not need to be a HAPS member to do this.
A second aspect of the project includes resources to support basic statistical analyses using MS Excel. Data analysis templates are available along with instructions on how to perform these analyses and how to interpret the results. If you have questions or comments about the data analysis, you can contact Erin Radomske. Periodically the data submitted by the various participating colleges will be “curated” or further examined for erroneous results and moved to an Excel file on this page. However, to access this file of group data, you need to be a HAPS member. Please feel free to comment on this activity and make suggestions by using the Lab Data Forum.
This project represents just the sort of innovative collaboration fostered by HAPS that makes membership in the organization so incredibly valuable.
Tens of thousands of students take Anatomy and Physiology courses every year, usually as preparation for a career in health. A&P instructors touch the lives of all of these students, and HAPS gives those instructors guidance on dealing with some of the ethical and procedural issues that can arise in the process of this instruction. Having these guidelines and position statements allows HAPS members to rely on these statements as starting points for conversations when these issues come up.
One of the more contentious issues that arises is the use of animal specimens. Historically, an important tool of investigation in human anatomy has been dissection of animals. Often this is because human material is hard to come by and has its own logistical issues (see below). Dissection, both of humans and animals, instills a recognition and appreciation for the three-dimensional structure of the animal body, the interconnections between organs and organ systems, and the uniqueness of biological material while conveying the inherent variability of living organisms not otherwise observable in simulations and models. In physiology, experiments involving live animals provide an excellent opportunity to learn the basic elements specific to scientific investigation and experimentation. At the same time, HAPS also encourages educators to be responsive to student concerns regarding use of animals and to provide students who object to animal use with alternative learning materials. HAPS contends that science educators should retain responsibility for making decisions regarding the educational uses of animals and opposes any legislation or administrative policy that would erode the educator’s role in decision making or restrict dissection and animal experimentation in biology.
While animal dissection may approach the ideal, human cadavers provide opportunities that cannot be duplicated by animal dissection. HAPS believes that the opportunity to observe and wonder at the complexity of the human body, the impact of disease on human structure, the effects of age and life style on anatomy, and structural variations related to development are unique attributes of a cadaver experience. While anatomical models, interactive computer programs, and multimedia materials may enhance the laboratory experience, they should not be considered as equivalent alternatives or substitutes for a hands-on cadaver experience where it is available. HAPS supports the use of cadavers for anatomical study provided their use is in strict compliance with federal legislation, the guidelines of the National Institutes of Health, and the body donor program from which the cadavers were acquired, and that such use fulfills clearly defined educational objectives.
HAPS also provides position statements on the quality of education that institutions should be providing to our A&P students. A growing trend in education is the use of ‘distributed learning’ – partially or wholly online courses and the use of web-based resources. These educational distribution methods provide a number of advantages: providing access to education that might not otherwise be available to particular students, flexibility in scheduling and learning styles for students, and the wealth of resources available on the internet. Nevertheless, these instructional technologies must support and complement the needs of best principles of teaching and learning, including training of instructors, pedagogical best-practices and assessment security and integrity. Online courses should provide an equivalent experience and similar material to face-to-face courses, and not be watered-down versions of an on-campus course.
On the topic of instructor accreditation, HAPS understands that A&P instructors come from a wide variety of post-baccalaureate programs including traditional life sciences programs (e.g. biology or physiology) as well as programs like biological anthropology and kinesiology. In addition, many A&P instructors come from clinical backgrounds such as nursing or physical therapy. HAPS has a number of guidelines for suggested coursework that A&P instructors should have taken, and how clinical or practical experience can be considered substitutions for this coursework. These guidelines embrace the diversity in backgrounds while still requiring rigorous standards of instruction and evaluation of that instruction.
These guidelines and position statements, with far more detail and formality, can be found on the HAPS website. These statements are tools that HAPS provides for dealing with the questions that A&P instructors may encounter when dealing with students, administrations, and the public.
The HAPS email listserv is where some of the most interesting conversations in A&P are taking place! The listserv is a members-only benefit that is an extremely valuable resource. If you are a member of HAPS, but have not yet joined the listserv, you are missing out on one of the best parts of membership.
For example, Ken Saladin, author of three A&P textbooks, wrote, “I have found the HAPS-L listserv to be an invaluable resource. Occasionally I know something edifying to other list participants, which is gratifying, but more often, I learn from others brighter or better informed than I. HAPS-L discussions have alerted me to many new perspectives in A&P that have found their way into my textbooks, and to issues where I’ve needed to re-evaluate my assumptions and correct or update my information. As a rich source of ideas for improvements and corrections, HAPS-L ranks at least as high as, or maybe higher than, the peer reviews we commission for each new edition.
“As an active classroom professor, I mention new information from HAPS-L often in my A&P lectures, explain my teaching and testing with reference to what I know the nationwide US-Canadian norms to be, and occasionally check with my HAPS-L colleagues on questions my students ask that I can’t immediately answer. My students seem to appreciate that I’m actively engaged in this network of A&P instructors, sometimes referring their questions to the listserv and always formulating my teaching practices not in isolation, but in the context of the expectations of A&P courses everywhere. ”
The current HAPS President, Tom Lehman, added, “I smile on Fridays when I see multiple posts shooting out from colleagues who are trying to find reasons not to grade their latest exam. Some of the posts are goofy and some are serious, but they’re almost all – on those Friday afternoons – a chance for educators to brainstorm and vent and share. Even when we’re swamped with work, they give us a chance to flesh out some idea that has been percolating in the back of our minds, knowing that we have several colleagues who we can trust to consider our crazy idea and help build it into something amazing for our students. The list-serv is one of the best aspects of being a member of HAPS.”