Some HAPSters have undoubtedly heard of Amazon Smile, a charitable-giving program in which eligible purchases initiated from smile.amazon.com (rather than plain old amazon.com) lead to a donation to a nonprofit organization of the buyer’s choice. Some of you even participate already, perhaps in support of your local house of worship, parent-teacher association, or athletic club. But to those who have not yet aligned with a nonprofit in this way — and those who’ve grown tired of boosting the same old 501(c)(3)’s year after year — I say, consider making HAPS your charity of choice! Doing so is easy, as illustrated in the screenshots below…
3. Find the Human Anatomy & Physiology Society among the many eligible charitable organizations. Searching for “Human Anatomy and Physiology” will work, but searching for “HAPS” will lead you astray. Click Select.
4. That’s it! From that point on, 0.5% of your eligible purchases will be donated to HAPS.
This year the HAPS board has focused on clarifying our financial instruments and has completed a top-to-bottom review of our policies, procedures, and bylaws. This sort of work is detail oriented and can drag on, but is necessary for organizational efficiency. Some of the things that the board found during this process were surprising and some were reassuring. All of the findings reaffirmed the fact that HAPS is in a strong financial position and is focused on ways to help members far into the future.
The proposed set of revisions to the bylaws will increase financial transparency, clear up some confusion about past donations, and improve financial management. We’ll vote on these revisions at the Annual Conference in Columbus Ohio on May 29th, during the general membership meeting.
So what was reassuring about our finances? HAPS has grown its donated funds from essentially zero in 2009 (when fundraising began) to nearly $120,000 today. All these donated funds, and the interest generated from them, have been left untouched since at least 2013 to facilitate growth (HAPS has been funding scholarships out of the operating budget since 2013). Now that we have a sizable nest egg, the next step is to create a management and spending plan that is both sustainable and prudent. Through the proposed bylaws revisions, the HAPS board has created a new committee to do just that – the HAPS Finances Committee will provide guidance to the board on the management of both donations and general savings.
So what was surprising? Despite talk of a foundation for years, it turns out that no foundation was ever formally created – and apparently, that is a good thing! A foundation is an body that is formed around some problem or idea. A foundation is not specific to a single organization. For example, one might form a foundation to cure cancer and then give the foundation’s money to anyone working to cure cancer (not just to one institution). Obviously, HAPS donors never intended to give money to HAPS only to have HAPS give that money to a separate foundation. The HAPS “foundation” was just a misunderstanding of the terms being used, but the idea of supporting HAPS via donations is alive and well.
So what is changing in the bylaws? There are three main changes.
First, we will be following the suggestions of our attorneys and removing article 17 from the bylaws. This is the article that specifies a foundation and a bunch of other overly complex financial structures that HAPS does not need.
Second, we will be establishing a restricted endowment to properly channel some past donations.
And third, we will establish the aforementioned Finances Committee to advise the board on proper management of all HAPS funds.
If you’d like to brush up on some of those terms, check out the glossary in the “lots more info” tab in the 2018 conference app.
None of this is as exciting as HAPS Synapse! or any of the Update Speakers or workshops or posters, but governance has its place at an annual meeting. Hopefully we’ll see you there!
Being the Executive Director of HAPS is a great job, in part because I never really know what opportunities are going to present themselves on any given day. Two weeks ago I got a call from friend and HAPS McGraw-Hill Education exhibitor Jim Connely. Jim has boundless energy and enthusiasm, so when he calls, you know something cool is going to happen.
And it did!
This particular call was a proposal from Jim to feature HAPS in his Succeed in A&P podcast. By last week, we had recorded a conversational interview about HAPS and the upcoming Annual Conference in Columbus (May 26-30). And today that conversation is available to everyone as a podcast (just two weeks from initial phone call to release!). If you would like to hear more, or if you know of colleagues who might like to hear more about HAPS, this podcast conversation is a great starting point.
For those new to podcasts, they are very similar in concept to an audio book. The main difference is that a podcast tends to narrowly focus on a topic and to me, podcasts seem like the radio stories or interviews that you might hear on public radio. Most people I know download their podcasts to their smart phones so that they can listen to them whenever they have a moment – in line, in the car, whenever. But you can use whatever digital device you prefer – tablet, computer, whatever works for you.
Most digital devices these days come with a program that will allow you to download and listen to podcasts. If yours did not, then finding an appropriate player is as simple as searching your favorite app store. Once you’ve got that figured out, all you need to do is follow the links below and you’re in business.
HAPS is fortunate to have the support of a whole host of wonderful companies that are all working to make A&P education more effective. Jim is a great example of the personal effort and earnest desire to help that so many of our exhibitors share. Listen to the podcast and you will see what I mean.
Administrators and faculty have questioned the effectiveness of online, hybrid and dual credit sections of a course as opposed to a traditional face to face section. The opinion voiced most often is that the online and dual credit sections cannot begin to equal the learning in a traditional face to face classroom. Indeed, in our era of transparency in education, this question has arisen amongst state and federal education agencies as well as the administrative offices of colleges and universities. Studies have been conducted to compare modalities of delivery effects on student satisfaction, student retention, GPAs, as well as other parameters.
To address this question, Western Iowa Tech Community College Science Department in Sioux City, IA implemented a common assessment requirement for Human Anatomy & Physiology I and II. Initially the A&P common assessment consisted of an in-house exam created by full-time A&P Instructors. When HAPS re-created the comprehensive final exam and piloted A&P I and A&P II versions of the exam in 2014, WITCC students participated in the pilot. WITCC’s choice for separate A&P I and II exams was based on the observation that not all students complete their 2 semesters sequentially. Occasionally students begin their study of Anatomy & Physiology while to complete coursework during their wait to be admitted. Occasionally a student is accepted into their program more quickly than expected resulting in the withdrawal of the student from the second semester to focus more completely on their program specific courses.
WITCC’s results for semesters where all A&P students were tested included traditional face to face classes, hybrid sections where the students are provided an hour of lecture and 2 hours of lab per week, league classes which are dual credit high school students where the high school instructor is also the college instructor, hybrid league classes where there is both a college instructor and a high school instructor, and online students from WITCC only. Below is a graph of all of the data for the modalities demonstrating the comparability of instruction between the modalities. In addition to the scores and test statistics, users of the exams are provided statistics for all of the exams twice a year in June and again in December. These statistics are provided by school type such as 4-year college, 2-year college, technical college, etc. It is helpful to be able to compare my student performance with that of the students in other colleges similar to mine.
In 2014, when I was teaching at a school of nursing, I was asked to develop a Human Anatomy and Physiology course sequence for undergraduates at our university who were interested in pursuing a degree in nursing. Human Anatomy and Physiology was required for admission to our school, and we were interested in attracting more undergraduates from our university. We wanted to make these undergraduates more aware of nursing as a possible career path, particularly bright students who already expressed an interest in science. Additionally, we were seeing that many students who matriculated into our traditional BSN program (to obtain a first bachelor’s degree) either were not well prepared, or seemed to have forgotten a significant portion of their basic science coursework. A colleague and I developed a pilot course that combined Human Anatomy and Physiology II (a common nursing prerequisite course) with Health Assessment (a course that is often offered early in the professional nursing curriculum) into a novel course that we called Physical Assessment: Normal Human Form and Function. Students in this novel course would take the traditional Human Anatomy and Physiology II lecture but would have a separate lab where the Health Assessment skills would be taught. We got approval from our university’s IRB, and also from our School’s curriculum committee. We obtained funding through a small grant from our university’s Center for Faculty Development and Excellence, and funds from the Center for Science Education. Our pilot course launched in the spring of 2016 with 10 students.
Our hypothesis was that students who participated in the pilot offering of this novel course would demonstrate improved learning of the basic anatomy and physiology concepts, as well as better retention of these concepts, than students who did not participate in the innovative pilot course. We used the HAPS standardized exam as a pre-test / post-test to measure students’ improvement from the beginning of the course sequence (August 2015) to the end (May 2016). We found that all students had significantly improved post-test scores on the HAPS exam when compared to the pre-test scores. We did see that participants in our pilot study did outscore non-participants in terms of exam scores, overall course scores and HAPS exam scores. These students appeared to be more satisfied with their overall experience. Further, participants also appeared to have stronger course scores in Pathophysiology, the first science course they encountered as professional nursing students, than non-participants. We noted a correlation between the learning gains on the HAPS exam and scores in Pathophysiology – this may be the first observation of correlation of pre-professional coursework performance with professional performance. Our pilot course experience resulted in a poster presentation at the 2017 annual HAPS meeting in Salt Lake City.
The biggest limitation of our study was the small sample size – our pilot cohort was 10 students. We chose the students in this cohort carefully for this first iteration in an attempt to minimize the potential disruption to their entry and progression through a professional nursing curriculum (ie, we chose students that appeared likely to be successful). Thus, we cannot generalize our results widely to pre-nursing students, and we cannot rule out the possibility that the participants would have out-scored their non-participant counterparts in any case.
There were several challenges specifically associated with the HAPS exam we faced as we developed this course. One challenge was the cost of the HAPS exam – about $10 per student. Since we opted to use the exam as a pre-test / post-test assessment, we needed $20 per student to obtain this data. Funding from the CFDE / Center for Science Education covered the cost of the exams. Another challenge in the use of the HAPS exam was that it is completely online. One required element in administering the exam is a professionally-supported computer lab. Students were not allowed to use their own computers, and there is no compatibility with any “lock-down browser” mechanisms that would prevent students from accessing online resources during the exam. While our school of nursing still had a computer lab, many schools have stopped supporting these in lieu of having students provide their own computers. Some students taking the HAPS exam at the beginning of the academic year expressed their anxiety when viewing their scores, and some dropped the course shortly afterward. Additionally, we did not include an incentive for students to perform to their best ability on either the pre-test or the post-test, which may have indicated that their HAPS exam score was not important.
This post comes from Dr. Ann Massey, PhD, Senior Lecturer for the Department of Cellular Biology at The University of Georgia.
From the founding of the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS) as an organization in 1989, there has been a general agreement that many of our students find the study of Human Anatomy and Physiology to be difficult. For some there is the difficulty in the sheer volume of new words to process and for most there is also a difficulty in conceptualizing the body as a set of integrated organ systems with interdependent processes necessary to sustain the life of the whole person. Partially to counteract grade inflation pressures on individual campuses, partially to justify requests for baseline prerequisite courses, and partially just for our own reference, there has been an ongoing desire for more “objective’ ways to know how well our students are doing. Out of this impulse the “HAPS Comprehensive Exam” was born in first draft around 1992 and piloted in June of 1993. I have great familiarity with the exam as I took over scoring the exam from Chris Farrell (Trivecca Nazerene University) and did all the central scoring of paper and pencil exams from the summer of 2007 through the spring of 2015, when the paper and pencil version was discontinued.
The exam has undergone several major revisions through time and has migrated from the original mail order, self-scored, paper and pencil form to a secure on-line testing environment. The HAPS Exam Program continues to write new questions and refine the scoring algorithm. Some questions (up to 20 per administration) are being tested for validity and reliability before being permanently added into the master question database. The exam has costs associated with the maintenance of the database, validation of new questions, test administration, and data analysis of the results. Consequently the exam is offered on a per-test fee basis to faculty and administrators at accredited institutions of higher education.
The HAPS exam is now a secure 100+ item test correlated to the HAPS Learning Outcomes for Undergraduate Anatomy and Physiology. It is currently the only validated means for obtaining comparison data across textbooks and publishers to help benchmark the performance of your students against the performance of other A&P students across the North American continent.
There are now several versions of the exam including the combined exam and subsets for A&P I only and A&P II only. Neither the complete exams nor the individual items contained in the exams are, or have ever claimed to be, perfect or without flaws. The HAPS exam is not an exhaustive examination of everything that your students actually know or even theoretically should know. The HAPS exam is not a substitute for a final exam targeted to your student population and your particular course. The HAPS exam score by itself in isolation is not a total representation of your students’ learning or the quality of your course(s). But in this era of assessment and accountability the HAPS Exam remains the only nationally normed and somewhat standardized examination over the content and concepts of Human Anatomy and Physiology.
What makes the HAPS Exam valuable?
The HAPS exam data is very useful in accreditation reports to validate efficacy of curriculum changes that have been made or to provide leverage to support requests for proposed changes. Sequentially administered test results over several years is a potentially powerful data source for answering the question, “How do you know it works?” Although administrators often find this the most compelling reason to justify the annual expense of the exam, I have found, personally, that the ability to gain perspective on my students’ performance to be of even more value.
I have found that the HAPS exam gives us at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy the opportunity to step back away from our local concerns and get a bit of perspective on how our students are actually doing. They may not be mastering the nervous system in the way we would like, but guess what? Turns out that many students across North America are struggling with that system. This doesn’t mean that we give up or quit trying. It just means that we have a more realistic sense of the challenge we are facing – not just at our school but across all of HAPS. If we are all having difficult in getting our students to deeply engage with a particular topic or system, I know I can go to the HAPS listserv (I still call it that) and ask around for what others are doing to address the issues we are facing. It is very empowering to know that neither I, nor my colleagues, nor my students as a group, are necessarily failing, even when I can see room for improvement in my students’ development of meaningful understanding of A&P. Perspective taking can be very powerful.
And if my/our students do particularly well in one area compared to the normed average? Well then I/we have the perfect topic/technique/workshop to share at the next HAPS annual meeting, or an article for HAPS Ed, or other publication! I can feel especially confident in offering my thoughts, suggestions and materials to others because I have evidence that what I and my colleagues are doing is helping our students meet not only our expectations, but allowing achievement at or above the national norm.
The more schools and students who participate, the more meaningful the results become. If you have not done so before, think about the HAPS exam this year.
Two years of planning, many discussions, and revisions of the program’s agenda and it finally happened!
On May 29, 2017, a wonderful group of CCBC (Community College of Baltimore County) biology students and faculty left for an exciting 10-day adventure, dubbed Human Anatomy in Poland. The human anatomy and education parts of the program included a visit to the Anatomy Museum at the Jagiellonian University Medical College in Krakow (the oldest university in Poland), the Criminal and Forensic Medicine Museum at the Wrocław Medical University, the unforgettable experience of visiting and attending a workshop at the world-famous Plastinarium in Guben, and student-interactive activities at the Public Higher Medical Professional School in Opole.
This anatomy focused experience was intermingled with touring the cities of Wroclaw, Opole, Krakow and Warsaw. The participants learned about Polish history, culture, and architecture by visiting many sites registered on the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List, including the Centennial Hall in Wroclaw, the Old Town in Krakow, the Nazi German concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Salt Mine in Wieliczka, and the Historic Centre in Warsaw.
Description of the study abroad program would not be complete without adding that the participants were enthralled with Polish food, enjoying all varieties of pierogi (commonly confused with “pierogis”). Some are even still experiencing “lody (ice cream) withdrawal”. I was asked on multiple occasions throughout the study abroad by the participants whether the program will be repeated; I share this enthusiasm and hope it isn’t the last of its kind!
Ewa Gorski is a biology professor at the Community College of Baltimore County in Maryland where she has been teaching human anatomy & physiology and physiological pathology courses for about twenty years. The majority of her students are preparing for careers in nursing and mortuary science. Ewa has been HAPS member since 2002.