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:

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Course Requirements:
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 ____

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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 _______

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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 material:
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 defined.
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 resources.

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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 classes).

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 student.

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 problems.

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

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Course Syllabus

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.