HAPS Leadership (#24): Curriculum & Instruction

140409 (1) handshake.jpgSeveral of the committees within the Human Anatomy & Physiology Society (HAPS) can become quite busy at times. Being chair of such a committee can be daunting. At times, we’ve addressed this issue by having two people serve as co-chairs. You’ve probably wondered what it means to be a “co-chair”, so I asked Terry Thompson and Hiranya Roychowdury what it’s been like to take over the reins of the Curriculum & Instruction (C&I) Committee.

Question: How does it feel to be part of the Steering Committee?

140409 (2) Terry ThompsonTerry: It has been an interesting transition. I’ve been part of the C&I committee for years, but it is interesting now to see the workings from the other side. I continue to be impressed with all our organization has to offer and the great people we get to work with. Peter (English) has also been a great help.

Hiranya: This is my first experience in a steering committee for this big an organization. I have been involved with HAPS since 2007, and, interestingly enough, the first person I got to meet and socialize with as a “First Timer” was Carol Veil. I had been interested in the process of Curriculum Development for quite a while, so I offered my services. She asked me to be a “Friend of the Committee” and I worked in that capacity for some time, offering occasional input. Whether it was my continued unfamiliarity with the so-called “inner circle” or my involvement more with the HAPS-EDucator, I had less time to contribute to the C&I modules. However, I was working as a liaison between the C&I and the Testing Committee (and as chair of two subcommittees under it), so I kept tab on what was going on with the Modules and was quite impressed with especially Terry’s “go-get-’em” style.

Question: What are the benefits of having co-chairs for your committee? Any challenges?

Terry: It is nice to have someone else to split up tasks and work off our strengths, and to bounce ideas off of each other. Everyone is so busy, it helps to work together and help each other. The biggest challenge comes not from being co-chairs, but from the transition to the HAPSConnect. Getting everyone comfortable working within the environment and using the google.docs has been a steep learning curve.

140409 (3) Hiranya RoychowduryHiranya: When Ron asked me if I would be interested in co-chairing with Terry, I jumped at the opportunity. It was quite an honor and I just couldn’t pass it up. So far, most of the heavy lifting has been done by Terry, so if you ask me that question, a resounding reply would be “Great! Especially if you had Terry Thompson to work with!”

Question: What is the status of the Committee?

Terry: The Learning Outcomes are now on a review cycle of 5 modules per year – at least that is our goal. We may find there aren’t any changes needed, but we wanted to set in place a review schedule so that they would be updated as needed to fit feedback and possible changes in teaching focus and strategies over time. We will also likely be adjusting them as needed to incorporate recommendations that come from the task groups, such as David’s survey results on lab outcomes and Carol’s work on using word banks. Also Wendy is reviewing current documents on recommendations related to online teaching and that may be updated as well as influence changes to learning outcomes eventually.

Hiranya: Implementing the features from HAPSConnect (Google) has been daunting, but Peter has been quite helpful in our efforts to train our committee members with these features. Terry and I have had to be flexible in assigning modules to committee members as we all learn how to navigate the new website (check it out!) and update our offerings. We’re working to update the list of web-links, so we could use some help with that project.

1525R-69047If there are any HAPSters out there interested in learning more about committee work, Learning Outcomes, and the secret handshake (originally created by Carol Veil and yoga-modified by Ron Gerrits), contact Terry and Hiranya and they’ll be happy to talk C&I with you.

HAPS Leadership (#20): Steering Committee

140305 (1) Herding CatsIt’s time to meet the person in charge of the HAPS Steering Committee (SC).  As you know, the Steering Committee is made up of Chairs of the various committees throughout the Human Anatomy & Physiology Society.  Herding this group of cats falls to Ron Gerrits, current Steering Committee Chair.

Ron became SC Chair this past July, having previously served as Chair of the Curriculum & Instruction Committee.  During his tenure with C&I, his committee worked on the Learning Outcomes and put together an incredible package.  Ron brought a strong sense of order and organization with him, which will serve him well as the head of the Steering Committee.

“Becoming the Steering Committee Chair has been a bit overwhelming.  I am still trying to figure out what needs to be done, by when, and by whom.  It’s coming together.  Much of my efforts have been spent getting comfortable with the technology that will make us more efficient and better record-keepers in the long-term.”

140305 (2) Ron GerritsRon’s coming into position during a bumpy time, technology-speaking.  HAPS has been instituting a new website this year, switching to a new email domain for the Board and SC, and a new online management system for documents.  However, Ron’s taking charge of his committees’ needs and helping them sort out what they need and where they can find it.

“In the end, the incorporation of this new technology will be a benefit to HAPS.  As we develop a better archive for documents, that will serve current and future chairs very well.”

It can’t be all a downer, can it?

“No, there are upsides, too.  One of the big benefits of being the Steering Committee Chair is the pleasure of working with like-minded people.  The committee chairs are dedicated instructors of A&P and want to see HAPS be a successful, well-run organization.  They’re all very busy, but they all know that HAPS is worth it.”

Ron’s already busy this spring, getting the Steering Committee ready for the annual conference in Jacksonville this May.  The Steering Committee will present a poster to describe how the various committees can help you.  They will hold their annual Scavenger Hunt for First-Time HAPSters.  They will also hold their annual committee meetings (most will be during the Tuesday lunch).  Keep an eye out for the Smart-device APP that will help you navigate through the conference; there’ll be lots of goodies from the Steering Committee on it.

Everything in its right place!
Everything in its right place!

The Steering Committee is an incredible herd.  Helping to keep them focused and moving forward can be a lot of work, but Ron appears to have the group well maintained.  Hee Yah!