HAPS has a long history of developing resources for educators of human anatomy and physiology. In 1992, the HAPS Core Curriculum Committee issued Course Guidelines for Introductory Level Anatomy & Physiology (now Course Guidelines for Undergraduate Instruction). This document was originally developed to provide guidance in setting curriculum for a two semester undergraduate course in human anatomy and physiology and was the beginning of the HAPS Learning Outcome Project. The HAPS Curriculum and Instruction Committee has more recently added A&P Learning Outcomes to accompany the course guidelines. All told, more than 35 instructors contributed to the set of documents that make up this incredible resource.
The authors wanted to be sure people understood that the project represents a suggested model and is not intended to be a mandate or an infringement upon academic freedom. Instead, it is meant to be a guide for helping to improve student learning. As such, instructors should realize that they are not required to use every outcome in the tables and are certainly welcome to include additional outcomes of their own. Instructors should also feel free to cover the outcomes in different orders, or in different places within the course, than what are presented in the project. The goal of the HAPS Learning Outcomes Project was to provide a set of goals and learning outcomes for a two-semester course sequence in human anatomy and physiology (A&P) intended to prepare students for a variety of clinical and academic programs. The documents in this project can be used as a benchmark for instructors currently teaching A&P courses or as a guide for those developing new courses.
The HAPS Curriculum and Instruction Committee consistently reviews and updates the documents of the Learning Outcomes Project. Comments related to the learning outcomes or supporting documents are welcome and may be sent to committee chair and will be considered for the next revision.
Next week, we’ll talk about the HAPS exam, which was written to assess how well students are meeting the standards outlined by the HAPS LO’s.
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.
Did you know that HAPS members have free access to the bimonthly publication from the American Association of Anatomists?
Anatomical Sciences Education is published in cooperation with the American Association of Clinical Anatomists and the Human Anatomy & Physiology Society. Their website describes the journal as providing “…an international forum for the exchange of ideas, opinions, innovations and research on topics related to education in the anatomical sciences of gross anatomy, embryology, histology, and neurosciences at all levels of anatomical sciences education including, undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate, allied health, medical (both allopathic and osteopathic), and dental.”
There are some directions HAPS members must follow to access this journal online. These steps are described on the HAPS website. First, click on the “Resources” menu on hapsweb.org and select “Teaching Resources.” Here you’ll see a giant list of things available to members and non-members and if you scroll down to the very bottom, you’ll see a handful of outside HAPS-related resources. One of these is a link to the Life Science Teaching Resource Community, which was discussed on this blog during spring 2014. But the next item on the list is a link to ASE.
Now, you have to be a member and enter your login information before you can access the next page, but if you are a member, you will be taken to a website with clear instructions for how to take advantage of your free online access to ASE.
So have you accessed ASE through HAPS? Take the poll and let us know!
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.”
I love this time of year. Even though I am sad that summer is winding down, I feel refreshed from the summer activities involving family and fun and sleep (!), and I start getting excited to gear up for a whole new semester. Just like the rest of us, the HAPS blog is gearing up for a fresh set of posts.
So here’s the plan for the fall. After a brief break, the Communication Committee will be doing a new series on all the cool things YOU can find on the HAPS website. These posts will be published each Monday and our goal is to inspire folks to either renew their HAPS memberships or join for the first time. HAPS is a really amazing organization that supports its members in such a personal and meaningful way. Ask any HAPSter: The value of a HAPS membership goes FAR beyond the cost of the annual dues. It will be fun to follow this set of posts and be reminded on a weekly basis just how many ways HAPS membership supports YOU.
We are also excited to start hearing from HAPS President-elect Betsy Ott . This will be a great opportunity to learn more about Betsy and some of the exciting things she’s got planned for her time as HAPS President next year.
With this plan in place, if you get a wild hair and want to join the Communication Committee, I’d love to recruit you up to write for our blog! Just shoot me an email and I’m happy to make it happen (I’ve got skills like that). And in the meantime, enjoy these last few days of summer and happy new school year to all!
I am sometime surprised by the way I can squeeze time out of an apparently packed week. But just like students often “need” the pressure of a quiz to remain diligent in their studies, I find tasks easier to complete if they are linked with looming deadlines.
So! In a moment of brilliant justification, I decided to sign up for Margaret Weck’s HAPS-I course on rational course design. Ready for the justification? It is simple. I will be teaching Human Physiology in the spring semester and have already decided to re-work the entire course. I’ve taught Physio many times in the past and feel it needs a giant overhaul. This means new labs, new lectures, new projects…the whole deal. And of course, I’ve been wondering where I would come up with the time to DO this overhaul—(insert heroic music here!)—HAPS and Dr. Weck to the rescue!
The course description states: Participants will produce syllabi for new or existing courses that demonstrate the principles of rational course design. As part of this process sample assignments and assessments will also be developed that could be used in any course to demonstrate student achievement of the A&P Learning Outcomes. Clearly, this is the perfect opportunity to learn from the amazing Margaret Weck, complete a comprehensive overhaul of my course, and take advantage, yet again, of all the ways HAPS helps me become a better teacher.
So join me! This will be a fun class! You can earn two graduate credits for the course, or just take it for professional development. And remember—you can still apply for a HAPS-I scholarship to help you pay for the course. The deadline to apply for this generous award is Friday August 15.
This might surprise you (!) but we Anatomy and Physiology instructors are usually pretty busy people. HAPS, as usual, aims to support us by offering opportunities for professional development via HAPS Institute (HAPS-I) courses. These courses are designed to broaden our understanding of our subject by enabling us to participate in interactive learning communities made of peers who are also teaching anatomy and/or physiology. HAPS-I courses include both subject-specific content as well as practical teaching and learning methodology and in this way exemplify the mission of HAPS as a whole. Additionally, each course provides participants with the opportunity to publish their work in the peer-reviewed Life Science Teaching Resource Community. Courses are available in two separate tracts to maximize flexibility for participants, allowing them to earn graduate credits or simply participate in the course for professional development.
The next round of HAPS-I courses are scheduled to begin between August 24 and September 15. I’d personally like to take all of them. Dr. Margaret Weck’s course on Rational Course Design “briefly reviews the major concepts associated with the “backwards design” model of rational course development, which stresses the value of thinking through the ultimate outcome goals (both in content mastery and cognitive skill development) for a course as a first step the course design process.” I want to take that class! And Dr George Ordway’s course on Advanced Cardiovascular Physiology will “provide college-level instructors with an opportunity to develop their understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the cardiovascular system, including key cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for function of the heart and blood vessels.” Oooh! I want to take that class too! And then Dr. Chad Wayne will be offering THREE classes on reproductive physiology. Whaaaat?!?!?! I want to take ALL of those classes!
And not only does HAPS offer these amazing courses, they also offer scholarships to support you in TAKING these cool courses. In fact, the next scholarship deadline is August 15. To be eligible for this scholarship, you need to be a HAPS member in good standing, you must be a regular full-time employee teaching anatomy and physiology, and you must have a teaching load that includes at least one section/class of anatomy and/or physiology.
So pick the fall HAPS-I course you’d like to complete, and apply for that HAPS-I scholarship by August 15. And then vote on which class you think should I take!
So I think I might be finally starting to figure out Twitter. I have been trying to climb aboard the Twitter train since January. I took my first step and created an account in February. (My twitter handle is @wendyriggs47.) I tweeted my first shy tweet in March, and was hacked a week later. Slowly my tweet-rate increased as we neared the HAPS annual conference and peaked somewhere during the middle of the conference. My tweet-rate then plummeted shortly after I returned home from the event. I’ve been trying valiantly to re-tweet the twitterings of Kevin Petti and the Anatomia Italiana crew as they adventure through Italy (@AnatomiaItalian), but until recently, I continued to feel generally baffled by the whole Twitter scene.
And then, for some unknown reason, everything seemed to click and instead of dreading my Twitter-time, I actually started looking forward to seeing who said what on my Twitter feed. I think it took me awhile to figure out who to follow and who to NOT follow. For example, back in February, (under the advice of my young brother), I started following the tweets from “Politico.” I’m not kidding—those guys must have been tweeting something every 30 seconds. I was horrified and overwhelmed by the massive quantity of their tweets and couldn’t even begin to sort through what things I might be interested in exploring more fully.
But lately, I’ve honed the list of tweeters I follow (bye bye Politico, hello Valerie O’Loughlin) and I actually enjoy checking out what is reported. In the last few days of Twitter-time, I found an interesting blog post on flipping the classroom entitled 4 Tips for Flipped Learning by Joe Hirsch, a fantastic TED talk on the adolescent brain by cognitive neuroscientist Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, and a set of classroom-ready case studies for A&P from the Life Science Teaching Resource Community. (Seriously?! How is it possible I’ve never seen this before?!) It is exciting to see potential like this and I’d love to see the HAPS twitter feed (@HumanAandPSoc) become such a valuable and dynamic source of ideas.
So take this week’s poll to share how YOU engage with Twitter.
Summer is such a luxurious time to reflect on my teaching and get fired up to make improvements. It is so nice to feel my excitement growing as I get my class materials together for the fall semester, which is only a month away.
After settling into the decision NOT to flip Human Biology this fall, I decided to make use of all the extra time I would have to re-record my Human Anatomy video lectures. I feel this is a little bit insane…this will be my 4th time teaching (and flipping) Human Anatomy and my third time re-recording my flipped video lectures. It seems more than mildly insane to re-record lectures this often, but I understand that I am not only ironing out the wrinkles in my flipped pedagogy, but I am also ironing out the wrinkles in my presentation of CONTENT. I have taken it for granted that in a traditional classroom I get to re-work my lectures and improve on my craft every time I teach the course. This is a fantastic assurance that I will constantly GET BETTER. But in the flipped scene, improving the lectures is much more time consuming. Nonetheless, I am clearly in need of creating a “new edition” of my lectures, though I am sincerely hopeful that THIS set of videos will last more than one semester.
As I prepare to record lectures, I can already tell that the videos will be better. I have a better understanding of the big picture, which will make the individual pieces fit together more cleanly. I have more experience with the tricky parts which allows me to emphasize the concepts that will be most helpful to my students. And I am hoping to record the lectures at a more leisurely (and reasonable) pace, without the imminent deadlines that inevitably means I end up trying to present content in front of a video camera in my office by myself, exhausted and delirious, at two in the morning. Ahem. My fingers are crossed.