It was another awesome Annual Conference at the end of May and the Communications Committee had a great meeting at the conference. We now have more than 20 fired up members, raring and ready to rock your HAPS bloggin’ world…starting in August.
So be ready, because things are going to get fun when we come back. And if you’re interested in chiming in on the blog-channel, give me a holler. My contact info can be found on the HAPS website. We’re even planning to partner with the HAPS-EDucator to publish a “Best of the Blog” series in each edition. That means that if you publish a blog post that is picked as a “BEST,” your work will be published in our peer-reviewed journal! That’s bound to make some people happy! And we’re always happy to have new members. The ComCom (as we affectionately call ourselves) is a very active and friendly HAPS committee.
It is an exciting time of year- because it is SUMMER. Glory days…I hope you are all enjoying some time off. See you in August!
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.
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?
I am the chair of the HAPS Communication Committee (affectionately known as the HAPS ComCom). Our committee’s task is to promote HAPS via social media. This is a really interesting task. HAPS currently has active accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. We are exploring Instagram as well.
But when I think about all the possible social media outlets, it is easy to become overwhelmed. How can we increase our audience? And how many HAPSters participate in social media anyway? It actually became a rather amusing quest for me at the annual conference in May to find HAPSters who tweet…let me just say tweeting HAPSters were few and far between. Thankfully, we did find Sarah Balizan, (also known as the HAPS Twitter Queen), who’s doing an inspirational job of keeping the HAPS Twitter account active.
Right now, and for the next couple of weeks, we will be engaged in a bit of a social media experiment with the Anatomia Italiana crew while they are on their exciting Italian field trip starting this week. Team leader Kevin Petti has generously agreed to provide us with lots of social media fodder to share. He will be writing posts for this blog, as well as doing daily updates via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Our Communications Committee is mobilized to re-tweet, favorite, and otherwise share his Italian updates. I’m excited to see if our team can generate some increased interest in our social media presence.
So I’m curious. How do HAPSters use social media? Are you interested in following Anatomia Italiana around Italy? Do you tweet? Do you use Facebook? Have you explored Google+ or LinkedIn?
So weigh in on this poll and follow the hype for the next couple of weeks. Then let us know what you think. In the meantime, happy communicating!
Summer is really here—my crew is headed out on a backpacking/water sliding/camping adventure tomorrow morning and we’ll be gone for the next couple of weeks. So, in order to avoid packing tonight (I hate packing), I decided to organize my emails. From the last 3 years.
That makes complete sense, right?
Of course it does. And even though it might not have been the most productive and efficient use of my time tonight, it was really fun because my email box was FULL of FASCINATING emails from the HAPS listserv. Honestly (and I know I’ve said it before), the listserv is one of the best parts of HAPS membership. Aside from the fantastic conversations about TEACHING anatomy and physiology, the list is a community building PLACE where we connect throughout the year. It was really fun sift through those old conversations and recognize people I now know in person from the annual conferences.
The email threads I sifted through were varied and dynamic. I found references to hilarious videos (I am forever grateful to the person who shared the fantastic music video “What does the spleen do“), thought provoking cartoons (one recent discussion on technology in the classroom was stimulated by this cartoon), and dynamic interactions around current research.
So if you are already a member of HAPS make sure you join the list. Just sign up on the website and you’ll be good to go. It really is a cool perk of being a member. And if you aren’t a member yet, join. It is soooo worth it.
I won’t be posting next week—I’ll be too busy being on summer vacation. (That is assuming I actually get packed tonight…ahem.)
I’m a stubborn human. I also have some pretty grave questions about my sanity. Because it was just this morning as I chatted with my mom on the phone during a very slow jog through my neighborhood, that I AGAIN lamented about whether or not I was going to flip Human Biology in the fall.
Really??! Does anyone else get the feeling that we’ve been here before?
But I think this time, I really did work through the issue (though I did ask my mom to remind me of this decision should I somehow lose focus before fall).
So here’s the ultimate reason I am firmly committing to NOT flipping Human Bio this fall. There are only 17 students enrolled in the course at this time and the course will not be offered again until next summer at the earliest. There. So if I were to flip the class, I would invest the ridiculous amount of flipping energy for 17 students (whom I’m sure I will love very much, and who are probably quite deserving of the educational advantages that the flip offers). But 17 students in 1 year just doesn’t justify the time it would take to prepare for an effective flip.
I think I feel peaceful about this decision. The true test will be to see what the blog topic is NEXT week. If I’m still talking about whether or not to flip Human Biology in the fall, you’ll know this peaceful sense is an illusion. But if I’ve moved onto a new topic, then we’ll all happily put this one to bed and I’ll start trying to remember how NOT to flip a class! HA!