(The Histology Challenge) presents actual patient cases, in the form of photomicrographs of biopsy or surgical specimens, along with a “live” online discussion. Each case includes a series of questions designed to guide readers through the process of interpreting the photomicrographs, beginning with basic histology and progressing through the process of diagnosing the case. In this article, we review the history of the Histology Challenge, describe how it works, and describe some sample cases, to illustrate how they reinforce basic histology and introduce clinical applications. This article will also include suggestions for how these Histology Challenges can be used in A & P courses, and ways in which interested instructors can participate both in the online discussions and in production of future cases.
The histology challenge serves many valuable functions for HAPSters and their students. Some instructors use the challenge to beef up their own histology skills. Others use the challenge to provide hands-on experiences for their students! Either way, the challenge is a stimulating resource for HAPSters and their students. So check out the Winter 2015 HAPS-EDucator and learn more about how you can take advantage of this fantastic benefit of being a HAPS member.
HAPS is always trying to find ways to make the lives of its members easier. For example, HAPS offers scholarships to ease the financial burden of participating in HAPS conferences or HAPS-I courses. But HAPS also negotiates deals for its members, like the most recent partnership between HAPS and Thieme.
Second, Thieme is sponsoring the 2015 HAPS-Thieme Excellence in Teaching Award! This award is designed to recognize and reward excellence in undergraduate A&P instruction. Award winners must be nominated by colleagues and will demonstrate the core value of HAPS. Nominations are allowed from instructors or administrators at accredited institution in the US or Canada. The winner of this award will receive a $1,500 cash prize and free registration for the 2015 Annual HAPS conference in San Antonio. The deadline for nomination is January 1, 2015.
Nominators must have:
Experience as an instructor or administrator at an accredited institution in the US or Canada
At least two years of A&P (broadly defined) teaching experience or administrative experience
Direct knowledge of the instructor being nominated and be able to explain why the nominee deserves this award
Be teaching an A&P course (broadly defined) in 2014-2015 academic year with an expectation that he/she will continue as an A&P instructor going forward
Be a HAPS member in good standing on January 1, 2015
Be an exemplary teacher
Provide a CV and a note saying that he/she understands that he/she must attend the annual conference.
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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!
Are you a member of the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society? If not, it is time to make it happen. Being a member of HAPS is, without a doubt, the single most important thing I’ve done in my career to become a better teacher. Two years ago, when I was deciding to flip my Anatomy class for the first time, I posed several questions to the email listserv, requesting input and pedagogical advice that helped define and hone my approach. Once, I asked the list about the wisdom of comprehensive exams. Dee Silverthorn sent me a copy of her comprehensive exam as an example. And I can’t even count the number of times that Valerie O’Loughlin has pumped me up with enthusiastic pep talks. My students get wide-eyed when I tell them the authors of their textbooks are answering my questions (and theirs). To me, this alone is worth the price of membership. And yet this is just a drop in the bucket when it comes to the benefits of being a dues paying HAPSter.
We will soon begin a series on the blog describing all the benefits of joining HAPS. You might be surprised at some the resources you have access to as a HAPSter.
As the chair of the Communication Committee, I am excited to help increase membership. So tell me true. Why are you a member of HAPS?
The Human Anatomy & Physiology Society runs on its membership. The members are the driving force that makes HAPS the great organization that we all enjoy. Keeping track of this vital group is the responsibility of the aptly-named Membership Committee. Leading this group is committee Chair, Elizabeth Pennefather-O’Brien. I had the opportunity to connect with Elizabeth over the break and wanted to share with you what I learned.
What attracted you to the Membership Committee?
I’ve been a member since I joined HAPS. Involvement in this committee really aided in my integration into the HAPS community. Interactions with the chairs and members helped me really connect to HAPSters at my first annual conference.
Describe some of the functions of the Membership Committee.
We keep an eye on the demographics of the Society to learn who you are, what you want from us, and what you can share with us. We’ve offered surveys in the past that have helped us to improve Society benefits for its members. We develop incentive programs to increase membership, such as differential dues for members. We maintain a Jobs Wanted site on our website to help you find your next dream job.
Tell me about “the Maps”.
That is one of my favorite parts of the annual Conference (Shameless Plug = 2014 Jacksonville registration is now open!). We create a North America map and a World map for each conference, allowing attendees to pin where they are coming from. I enjoy spending time by the map to see the array of places that people come from…as well as take note of where we missed this year. Did you know that we had 46 of 50 US states, 5 of 10 Canadian provinces, and representatives from Australia, Denmark, Egypt, Grenada, India, New Zealand, and Nigeria? It is absolutely wonderful to have people from so many places gather to engage in educational conversations about Anatomy & Physiology.
Tell me about the energy of the Membership Committee.
It’s a great group. We’ve gone through some changes over the past few years. With the hiring of an Executive Director and the formation of a Marketing Committee, our focus and duties have shifted a little. However, we’re finding our niche and are really excited about some new projects on the horizon.
We’re developing our next survey and would love assistance in making sure that we gather the right demographic information. We’re looking to promote continued membership (got ideas for retaining our members?) as well as increase our international membership. We’re also working on ways to keep lines of communication strong throughout the year. If you have questions or ideas, we’d love to hear from you. Drop me an email at email@example.com. Have a good one, ay!