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PSTL 1135, Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology, is a biological science course, with laboratory, designed to introduce college freshmen to scientific thinking and career exploration in health care, kinesiology, or other areas in the life sciences. The course is organized around body systems, e.g., the respiratory system, the nervous system, etc., and uses both fitness and disease, (e.g., diabetes, cancer, atherosclerosis, etc.) to introduce students to essential concepts in anatomy and physiology. The lecture section of the course does not meet in a lecture hall, but rather in an active learning classroom that features nine-person round tables. In this setting students will work in groups to solve problems and work on projects. In the laboratory, student engage in traditional dissections, e.g., brains, hearts, etc., perform inquiry-based exercises, and participate in other hands-on activities. Cooperative learning activities, e.g., cooperative quizzes, are used in both the lecture and the lab settings of the course. All students enrolled in PSTL 1135 will be required to read at least one, and maybe two books, such as "When the Air Hits Your Brain," outside of regular class time. The course will make considerable use of internet-based curricular materials. Please note, this is not the first semester of a two semester anatomy and physiology course, but rather a one semester survey course designed for freshman.

Murray Jensen

 

General and Specific Criteria - Physical and Biological Sciences Diversified Core

Core courses must meet the following requirements:

•   They explicitly help students understand what liberal education is, how the content and the substance of this course enhance a liberal education, and what this means for them as students and as citizens.

PsTL 1135 Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology is a freshman level life-science course that is organized around the major organ systems in the context of their roles in maintaining homeostasis. Students first learn the concept of hierarchical organization of the body, (e.g., molecules, cells, tissues, etc.) then examine how these interrelationships lay the foundation for the study of the body's systems. Relationships between structure (anatomy) and function (physiology) are stressed. Using homeostasis to tie the systems together leads to discussion of both normal and abnormal (pathological) functioning.
Physiology, the study of function, readily lends itself to asking questions, constructing hypotheses, and designing experiments.  In the lab section of the course, students are required to use the scientific method to confirm or refute hypotheses.  Lab activities will be reinforced in the lecture section of the course where data and conclusions will be synthesized into larger, well established, concepts in anatomy and physiology.   Students discover that a scientific "way of knowing" is one of many types of knowledge within a liberal education.
PsTL 1135 focuses on understating the structure and function of the human body, but lessons showing history of medicine, anatomy and physiology education, and the use of the human body in art and religion are also presented.  The interdisciplinary content coupled with traditional human anatomy and physiology are used to lead students to understand how biological knowledge is created, reflecting on its  relevance towards life style choices, and using that knowledge to make informed personal and public health decisions.  Becoming more informed citizens is what a liberal education is about.

•   They employ teaching and learning strategies that engage students with doing the work of the field, not just reading about it.

PsTL 1135 is a lab-based class.  In the weekly 2-hour wet lab, through the use of anatomical and mechanical models, demonstrations, and hands-on activities, the methods used by anatomists and physiologists are presented and implemented by students, e.g., dissections, hypothesis testing, computer simulations, etc.  For example, when studying the cardiovascular system, simple dissections of sheep hearts allow students to discover the heart's gross anatomy and how it is related to cardiac physiology, which is then explored through the use of a mechanical, hands-on, heart model where students examine the quantitative relationships between heart rate (heart beats per minute), cardiac output (millimeters of blood pumped per minute), and stroke volume (millimeters of blood pumped per beat).
•   They include small group experiences (such as discussion sections or labs) and use writing as appropriate to the discipline to help students learn and reflect on their learning.
All laboratory activities are performed in small, cooperative groups.  Groups of two or three students work together to design and implement experiments involving the scientific method (e.g., hypothesis testing), or to engage in more traditional anatomy activities such as dissections. Weekly lab writing summaries are required of every (i.e., individual) student.  Additionally, students are required to write four formal lab reports during the semester that include the scientific method, e.g., hypothesis generation, data collection and analysis, etc.  The formal lab report involves the components of a traditional scientific paper, (e.g., data tables, graphs, conclusions, etc.) and are approximately four-pages in length.
In the lecture section of the course, students participate in cooperative group work to complete quizzes and assignments.  The most frequently used activity is a “cooperative quiz” where students first take a quiz on an individual basis, and then take the same quiz again within a group.  The intent of a cooperative quiz is to both have students learn anatomy and physiology, and also learn to work in groups, e.g., develop communication skills, conflict resolution skills, etc. 
CLE Guidelines for Biological Sciences Courses
* The course provides experimental evidence for how current knowledge in biology was obtained.
Human anatomy and physiology is historically rich.  For example, anatomy students were at one time required to secure their own cadavers from the local cemetery.  The history of anatomy and physiology compliments the current understanding, and historical relationships are explored in the course.  For example, the vast terminology used in anatomy is changing from the names of people, e.g., the islets of Langerhans, to more descriptive terms, e.g., pancreatic islets. The course examines the history, and future, of anatomical nomenclature.
The history of anatomy and physiology will also be used to examine the concept of “who goes first,” which is a phrase describing one of many was of knowing in anatomy and physiology.  For example, the causative agent of stomach ulcers is now known to be the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, which was not known until two physiologists proceeded to drink solutions of Helicobacter pylori to induce ulcers in their own bodies.  (Their work lead to a Nobel Prize in physiology.)  A second example is the work of Earl Bakken, who was the first to explore the electrical properties of the heart, but rather than “pacing” himself, Earl Bakken did his initial work on dogs.  PsTL 1135 is not a history of medicine course, but many vignettes are used to help students better understand the origins of the current knowledge.
Like all good science courses, students in PsTL 1135 will model the actions of professional scientists when they design and implement experiments in the lab, and use the scientific method to derive new understanding of concepts. * The course explores examples of unanswered questions in biology.
“Cures vs. treatments” is a theme running throughout the course.  Treatments, and not cures, for common diseases such as atherosclerosis, Type 2 diabetes, as well as genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis, are central to the course curriculum.  Millions, if not billions of dollars, are targeted towards projects trying to answer the question “what is the cure for this disease?”  Some diseases do indeed have cures, e.g., many bacterial infections, whereas other diseases have only treatments, e.g., viral infections.
    * Students integrate mathematical thinking into analysis and interpretation of data.
Several lab activities involve mathematical thinking.  Two examples include mechanical physiology simulations where students derive mathematical relationships for a cardio-physiology lab where students learn the relationships between heart rate, stroke volume, and cardiac output (cardiac output = stoke volume X heart rate). And second, a lever lab where students learn about simple levers, load, torque, etc., and there relationships to the structure and function of the elbow joint. 
    * The course includes at least two hours of laboratory per week, in which students have first-hand experience in producing and handling data, using tools of the discipline (i.e., thinking and working like a biologist).
Our labs focus on hypothesis testing and data collection.  For example, the Daphnia & Drugs lab requires students to learn a procedure to isolate a Daphnia and locate and record its heart rate via use of a microscope.  Data is then collected when the Daphnia is exposed to different chemicals, e.g., nicotine, acetyl choline, etc.  For this lab, and several others, students are required to develop simple hypothesis statements, develop a research design, collect data, derive conclusions, and write up a lab report. 
    * The course includes laboratory experiences in which students do hands-on testing of principles presented in the lecture portion of the course; some laboratory sessions may include computer simulations of experiments or observations that otherwise cannot readily be addressed during a semester (e.g. evolution of a population over thousands of years).
All student lab activities are “hands-on.”  Two labs, as described above, are related to cardio physiology (mechanical heart lab) and bio physics / kinesiology (arm as a lever lab). Both labs directly compliment material presented in the lecture section of the course.  The principles of cardio physiology and kinesiology (movement) are introduced in the lecture section of the course prior to students exploring the concepts in depth in the labs.  In most cases, labs are introduced in the lecture section via an introduction to the basic topics, e.g., cardiac output, simple levers, prior to proceeding to the lab.
    * The course provides laboratory experiments that allow students to confront interpretation of mistakes and unexpected results.
Several labs in PsTL 1135 provide students to confront interpretation of unexpected results.  Besides the lever lab and cardio physiology lab described previously, the spirometry lab enables students to compare vital capacities (lung capacity) to body size (height and mass).  Data is often inconsistent; there is not a clean, linear relationship between body size and vital capacity.  Soon after the vital capacity lab, students calculate VO2 maximums (a measure of an individuals ability to transport oxygen), which provides more insight into the complex relationships between organs, organ systems, and the person.
A lab experience in the Biological Sciences Core requires students to do one or more of the following:
    * perform hands-on experiments, measurements, or analyses that test basic concepts or hypotheses about living organisms;
We have several labs that require hypothesis testing.  Besides the labs mentioned previously, the lab on the digestive system requires students to develop a hypothesis pertaining to the caloric content of different food items, e.g., potato chips, corn chips, etc.  The hypothesis is tested through data collection, and subsequent analysis, with a calorimeter.  Students are required to write a lab report that  states their hypothesis and procedure, reports their raw data and data analysis, and finally a conclusion, e.g., the different foods.
The lab activity examining the relationship between different chemicals and the Daphnia’s heart rate is another example and involves living organisms, as opposed to dead organic matter, e.g., potato chips, as used in the calorimeter lab.
* analyze, interpret, and draw conclusions from data;
Same as above.
    * examine the relationship between structure and function of biological specimens;
Anatomy and physiology is by definition “structure” and “function” and this relationship is reinforced every day in PsTL 1135.  A good example is our lever lab, where student combine physics and biology to examine the mathematical underpinnings of the elbow joint.  Another example is the mechanical heart model where students discover the anatomical relationship between a myocardium and a working pump.  Like the lever lab, the cardio physiology lab examines the mathematical underpinnings as it relates to both anatomy and physiology.

PsTL 1135 Human Anatomy and Physiology is a freshman level life-science course that is organized around the major organ systems in the context of their roles in maintaining homeostasis. Students first are exposed to the concept of hierarchical organization of the body, then learn how these interrelationships lay the foundation for the study of the body's systems. Relationships between structure (anatomy) and function (physiology) are stressed. Using homeostasis to tie the systems together leads to discussion of both normal and abnormal (pathological) functioning.

Physiology, the study of function, readily lends itself to asking questions, constructing hypotheses, and designing experiments in order to collect data which may confirm or refute the hypotheses; students discover that this is a scientific "way of knowing." Even anatomy, which may seem fairly fixed, is always in a state of flux as new technologies, such as more powerful imaging devices, provide new insight. Understanding the scientific method allows students to achieve a healthy skepticism and provides the tools for evaluating health news and advertising. Students gain the ability to make knowledgeable choices regarding their health, medical care, and lifestyles.

In the weekly 2-hour wet lab, through demonstrations and hands-on activities, some of the methods used by anatomists and physiologists are presented: dissection, use of the microscope, "what will happen if..." experiments, and computer simulations. For example, students will learn how to use the microscope in order to examine different types and subtypes of tissues, and discuss how their differences might be related to function. Simple dissections of sheep hearts allow students to discover the heart's gross anatomy and how it is related to cardiac physiology.  Examples from the history of science will be used to introduce and, in some cases, further illustrate specific issues in anatomy and physiology.

Our students are required to learn basic anatomy, but are encouraged to learn the anatomy in the context of the physiology. Students discover that the unfamiliar Latin- and Greek-based names and terms of biology have meaning, and can be used as a tool that provides information and aids in memorization. Each week, students participate in cooperative group work to complete quizzes and technology enhanced learning projects, such as creating web-based research projects on human diseases.  Additionally, every student must read and write a report on a book outside of class that relates to human anatomy and physiology, e.g., Mapping Fate, When the Air Hits Your Brain, Genome, etc.  Students engage in additional writing assignments in the wet lab where weekly lab summaries are collected and graded.

In a typical semester students meet in a large lecture hall for no less than 28 hours, meet in a computer lab for no less than 15 hours, and engage in lab activities in the wet lab for no less than 28 hours.

 

 

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PSTL 1135, Human Anatomy and Physiology, is a developmental education course intended for college freshmen. The course has three components: First, a traditional lecture where students are expected to take notes and exams, second, a computer lab where students engage in cooperative quizzes and activities such as a "do something cool" project, and third, a laboratory component where students dissect eyes, brains, hearts, etc., and participate in many other hands-on activities. The course is organized around body systems, e.g., the skeletal system, the nervous system, etc., and focus on many common diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and atherosclerosis. All students enrolled in PSTL 1135 will be required to read at least one book, such as "When the Air Hits Your Brain," outside of regular class time. This course makes considerable use of Web Vista and a course internet site. Do not take this course if you do not enjoy using computers or if you do not have access to a fast and reliable internet connection. Please look up the PSTL 1135 website for more details: http://www.msjensen.gen.umn.edu/1135/


PsTL 1135 and the University of Minnesota’s Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
The interdisciplinary content coupled with traditional human anatomy and physiology are used to lead students to understand how biological knowledge is created, reflecting on its relevance towards life style choices, and using that knowledge to make informed personal and public health decisions.  Becoming more informed citizens is what a liberal education is about.  So, when you successfully complete this course, you should be able to:
identify, define, and begin to solve problems in human anatomy and physiology that have an impact on the national level (met by your participation in group problem solving activities, and participating in cooperative group quizzes).
locate and critically evaluate information that can help you identify, define, and begin to solve biologically related problems and to answer questions you have about biological science (met by your completion of lab reports, and participation in cooperative group quizzes, and the completion of a course project).
understand and describe the role of creativity, innovation, discovery, and expression in the tradition-rich disciple of human anatomy and physiology (met by designing and carrying out laboratory experiments, completing laboratory reports, and completing the course project).
effectively interpret and communicate meaning from a complex data set and organize it so that someone else can interpret meaning (met by carrying out laboratory experiments and writing laboratory reports).
Acquired skills for effective citizenship and life-long learning from the majority of lessons that link normal anatomy and physiology to epidemic level diseases such as atherosclerosis and cancer, and their connection to every-day life style choices and public health issues (met by carrying out course projects and completing the laboratory experience).