Approved by Faculty Senate
University Studies Proposal for
Ed W. Thompson
Department or Program: Biology Department
Course Number: Biology 201
Number of Credits: 4 SH
Course Title: Human Anatomy
Catalog Description: A study of the human body from both systemic and
regional perspectives, integrating microscopic and macroscopic information. Includes cat
dissection as an example of mammalian anatomy and demonstrations of prosected cadavers.
Prerequisites: Chem 212; Chem 213; Biol 241. Lecture and lab. Offered yearly.
Is this an existing course which has previously been approved by A2C2? Yes
Is this a new course proposal? No
Department contact person for this course: Ed W. Thompson
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A. Basic Skills:
1. College Reading and Writing ____
2. Oral Communication ____
3. Mathematics ____
4. Physical Development and Wellness ____
B. Arts and Sciences Core:
1. Humanities ____
2. Natural Sciences _X__ With lab _X__ Without lab ____
3. Social Sciences ____
4. Fine and Performing Arts ____
C. Unity and Diversity:
1. Critical Analysis ____
2. Science and Social Policy ____
3a. Global Perspectives ____
3b. Multicultural Perspectives ____
4a. Contemporary Citizenship ____
4b. Democratic Institutions ____
D. Flagged Courses
1. Writing ____
2. Oral ____
3a. Mathematics / Statistics ____
3b. Critical Analysis ____
Approval /Disapproval Recommendations
Department Recommendation: Approved _X___ Disapproved ____ Date _9/22/2000_
Chairperson's Signature _________________________________ Date _______
Dean's Recommendation: Approved ____ Disapproved ____ Date _______
Dean's Signature ___________________________________ Date _______
USS Recommendation: Approved ____ Disapproved ____ Date _______
USS Director's Signature _____________________________ Date _______
A2C2 Recommendation: Approved ____ Disapproved ____ Date _______
A2C2 Chair's Signature _____________________________ Date _______
Faculty Senate Recommendation: Approved ____ Disapproved ____ Date _______
FA President's Signature _________________________________ Date _______
Academic Vice President's Recommendation: Approved ____ Disapproved ____ Date _______
Academic VP's Signature _______________________________ Date _______
President's Decision: Approved ____ Disapproved ____ Date _______
President's Signature _________________________________ Date _______
Overview of Biology 201 - Human Anatomy
This course is an introductory yet comprehensive study of the microscopic and gross
structure of the human body from both systemic and regional perspectives. The primary
emphasis is placed on structural, positional, and functional relationships which exist at
the cellular, tissue, and organ levels. It is designed to meet the needs of several
populations of students. It is a required course for students majoring in Biology - Allied
Health and an elective course for students in other biology majors, but approximately 50%
of students each year have not been biology majors. The course consists of three lectures
and two two-hour labs per week.
The course begins with an introduction to anatomic terminology and an overview of how the
human body is organized. This is followed by a discussion of basic embryology from
conception through the early fetal period, when most organs systems have begun to develop.
The basic structure of cells and tissues is then discussed. The second phase of the course
presents the basic structures of the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous,
circulatory, lymphatic/immune, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems
at all levels of this hierarchy. Fetal, neonatal, and lifelong development of each system
are discussed at this time. The third phase of this course presents human anatomy from a
regional rather than a systemic approach. Structures from many different systems are
examined together in the head, neck, thorax, abdomen, upper limb, and lower limb.
Six themes recur throughout this course, and thus form the foundation of mastery of the
a) Current knowledge of human structure is based on studies dating back literally
thousands of years, and present-day research continues to add to this body of knowledge.
b) The terminology of anatomy is very precise, but a basic understanding of common root
words, prefixes, and suffixes will be invaluable in mastering it. Many anatomical terms
can best be understood in the context of the original studies in which they were first
c) Adult structure is based on fetal structure. Anatomy can best be learned and understood
in the context of how specific structures developed. Human structure continues to change
and develop throughout life. Alterations at any phase of this development will be
reflected in alterations of subsequently developing structures.
d) Human structure is hierarchical in structure: molecular organization determines
organelle structure, which determines cellular structure, which determines tissue
structure, which determines organ structure. Alterations at any one of these levels will
be reflected in alterations at all higher levels.
e) The structure and the function of any molecule, organelle, cell, tissue, or organ are
mutually dependent on each other. Both "structure determines function" and
"function determines structure" are true, so an understanding of one requires at
least a rudimentary understanding of the other.
f) Human anatomy has "emergent properties"; i.e. the structure and function at
any level of this hierarchy are greater than the sum of its individual parts.
Lecture and laboratories reinforce the same material from different perspectives. While
lectures and labs emphasize presentations by the instructor and broad discussions among
the entire class, laboratories are organized around a small group discussion and
problem-solving format. Laboratories are designed to integrate the cellular, histologic,
and organ levels of structure and to allow students to develop an understanding of the
interdependence of structure and function at each level. Students must also integrate
information from multiple sources: lectures, textbook and lab manual, models, preserved
specimens (including male and female human cadavers), and more recently web-based
Material Submitted for Course Approval:
1. Course proposals must address all specified outcomes
2. Course proposals must include documentation of course requirements and
learning activities designed to meet the course outcomes specified for the area.
a. Requirements and learning activities that promote students' abilities to understand
how scientists approach and solve problems in the natural sciences
This is addressed in a number of topics throughout the course. "Orientation to
Anatomy", "Embryology", and "Cells and Tissues" introduce how
scientists have identified and classified structures according to the scientific method.
In later discussions of tissues, organs, and systems, this is carried through to specific
investigations, often including the classic' studies (e.g. Vesalius' description of
musculature; Ramon y Cajal's descriptions of nervous tissue; Harvey's experiments to
elucidate the structure of the heart). During laboratory exercises, students are required
to integrate material presented in the textbook or laboratory manual, in lecture, and
through auxiliary materials into an understanding of human structure and then to test
their ideas, essentially practicing the use of the scientific method.
b. Requirements and learning activities that promote students' abilities to apply those
methods to solve problems in the natural sciences
As noted in "a" above, students are required through laboratory exercises to
integrate information they obtain from various sources into testable hypotheses and
conclusions. For example, in examining bones students are asked to hypothesize why
epicondyles on some specimens are much larger than on others (larger epicondyles indicate
stronger muscle pull). In examining the central nervous system, they are challenged to
explain why specific lesions produce specific functional deficits. In examining the
special senses of vision, hearing, and equilibrium they essentially repeat the experiments
through which these were originally studied and defined or though which they are tested in
clinical settings. Approximately half of the laboratory exercises I select each year
include this approach as a significant component within its discussion-based format.
c. Requirements and learning activities that promote students' abilities to use
inductive reasoning, mathematics, or statistics to solve problems in natural sciences .
The discussion-based format used in the laboratories for this course requires students to
use inductive reasoning to explain and "defend" how they reached their
conclusions. Three laboratory exercises specifically emphasize mathematical skills:
calculation and comparisons of magnifications and field sizes in microscopy; calculation
of myocyte sizes based on measurements of length and width (assuming cylindrical shapes);
measurement and calculation of hematocrit and hemoglobin concentrations and counts of
circulating leukocytes and erythrocytes. The latter two of these include the gathering and
statisticalanalysis of the data obtained by different individuals. Many topics in lecture
presentations are mathematical in nature, e.g. dimensions of various cell types,
dimensions and mass of various organs, and relative positions of different organs within
specific regions of the body. Statistical analyses are incorporated in my presentations of
such topics as birth defect or cancer probability, variations in organ size and position,
and changes which occur in aging. Probability is also central to reviews of gene and
chromosome sorting during mitosis and meiosis (originally presented in prerequisite
d. Requirements and learning activities that promote students' abilities to engage in
independent and collaborative learning
This is a primary objectives of this course, and a thirty five item web site provides
guidance on How to Study Effectively for this Course. Success requires the student to use
a variety of study methods as noted in the course syllabus and on-line course materials.
Besides textbook reading and note taking (essentially independent study activities),
students are strongly encouraged to form study groups for discussion and questions.
Laboratories are designed for a collaborative format, with students working in groups of
typically three to five students throughout the course, and they are expected to attempt
to answer questions or solve problems within the group before consulting me. Most of the
scheduled laboratory periods include twenty to thirty minutes devoted to group review and
discussion of material from previous lab exercises. The final objective, of course,
remains independent learning - the retention of skills, concepts, and information by each
e. Requirements and learning activities that promote students' abilities to identify
find, and use the tools of information science as it relates to natural sciences
As noted in "a" above, discussions of scientific investigations are incorporated
into lecture and laboratory discussions throughout the course. Interpretation of
information presented in tabular and graphic formats is also an integral part of this
course, applying skills learned in earlier prerequisite classes. Students use the A.D.A.M.
computer-based modules for both lecture and laboratory study, and they are referred to
numerous additional web-based sites through the course home-page. Each student is also
required to research and write a report on an anatomical topic selected by the instructor
each year (e.g. one of the special senses; the embryonic development of a specific organ).
This must include at least six sources other than the textbook, no more than half of which
can be web-based, and no more than 20% of the report can be taken from any single source.
f. Requirements and learning activities that promote students' abilities to critically
evaluate both source and content of scientific information
The primary mechanism for accomplishing this is preparation of the student report
discussed in "e" above, in which students are required to evaluate different
sources of information as noted. However, human anatomy is by its nature an
"information heavy" field despite my emphasis on concepts and relationships, so
critical evaluation of scientific information and its sources is integral to nearly all
aspects of the course. Students are routinely exposed to similar information from
different sources. Lectures also present a significant amount of clinically based
information which requires critical analysis. For example, we discuss recent controversies
surrounding the human immunodecifiency virus and clinical management of AIDS when dealing
with the human immune system. Questions in both lecture and laboratory examinations often
require students to identify relevant information from irrelevant information in solving
g. Requirements and learning activities that promote students' abilities to recognize
and correct scientific misconceptions.
This is another primary objective of this class. Most students enter with at least a
rudimentary understanding of human anatomy, but it is typically overly generalized and
simplistic, and details are often simply wrong. Since this course emphasizes specific
terminology and specific structural and functional relationships from cellular to systemic
levels, students recognize and are able to correct these misconceptions as they learn the
accurate information and come to understand the complexity and wide variation in human
structure. Laboratory exercises place particular emphasis on this during small group lab
discussions (see "d" above) as students compare their understanding of human
anatomy and its resultant physiology. I become aware of misconceptions through these
discussions as well as through examinations and correction of written reports, and can
direct corrections either to specific individuals or to the entire class.
3. The course syllabus must include a course description (e.g. a syllabus
or course outline for distribution to students) that clearly identifies to the student the
course as a University Studies Course.
4. The course syllabus (e.g. a syllabus or course outline for distribution
to students) should include information directed to the student that clearly identifies
course activities and assignments that address the course outcomes.
A link to the 2000 course syllabus is included below, modified to include this information
as it will appear on subsequent syllabi. Obviously, specific dates will vary each year,
and the subject of the Written Report will vary each year.
5. (this course is not part of a sequence)
6. The USS may request other material (e.g. textbooks) for review in
evaluating a course proposal
7. The USS may request additional information for re-approval Additional
material is available on request.
Contact Ed Thompson
Here is a link to the 2000 course syllabus, modified to include this information as it will
appear on subsequent syllabi. Obviously, specific dates will vary each year, and the
subject of the Written Report will vary each year.