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Human Anatomy

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Human Anatomy Labs

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"Dispel from your mind the thought that an understanding of the human body in every aspect of its structure can be given in words; the more thoroughly you describe, the more you will confuse... I advise you not to trouble with words unless you are speaking to blind men."
                        -- Leonardo da Vinci
(You may download a copy of this course syllabus from the Lecture Notes page.)
Course Description
Human Anatomy is a sophomore level, pre-professional lecture/lab course that provides an  introduction to histology (the study of tissues) and human gross anatomy (study of organs and organ systems), with an emphasis on laboratory experience.  Cadaver dissection and plastinated prosections, along with models and animal organs,  will be used to acheive an understanding of human structure.  The overall goal is to provide you with the base of knowledge necessary for further education in health-related fields. Specific content objectives are available here. These objectives are based on national standards for introductory anatomy courses as determined by HAPS (Human Anatomy and Physiology Society). This course does not satisfy general education requirements.

Prerequisites and Corequisites
Human Biology (BIOL 1214) is preferred, but General Biology (BIOL 1004) or another freshman-level biology course is acceptable. You must be concurrently enrolled in both lecture (BIOL 2034) and lab (BIOL 2034L).

Required Text & Ancillaries

  • .Human Anatomy, 5th Edition; Saladin, Kenneth S.  (2017)
  • The Accidence of Anatomy, A Bespoke Lab Manual by Ron Gaines, Kendall-Hunt Publishing, [ISBN 9781465290496]


  • Borror, Donald J. (1988) Dictionary of Word Roots & Combining Forms [ISBN 9780874840537]

  • You will need Latex/nitrile gloves; available from any pharmacy. You may want to share the expense of a box with some classmates.
  • Many students find it helpful to make colored sketches in lab or to color code drewings in the lab manual or from the text, so a set of colored pencils/highlighters/pens is very useful. 
  • Dry erase markers and sheet protectors are also a very useful way of relabeling the many Figures for which you will be responsible.

Exams and Grading System
  • Lecture: There will be five  ~100-point exams. You will need to bring two #2 sharpened pencils with erasers and a Scantron answer card to each exam. Exams will be 60-80% multiple-choice and 40-20% labeling and short answer. A Review Worksheet (20 points) is also due on the day of each exam, along with some anatomical-variation homework.
  • Lab: There will be four exams (120-240 points each),  three pre-lab homework assignments, and some anatomical-variation homework. Each lab exam will be approximately 80% practical (identifying structures on slides, models, human organs and torsos) and 20% written (muscle functions, for example).  LAB EXAMS  ARE THE MAJOR DETERMINATE OF YOUR COURSE GRADE.
  • Final course grade is a simple percentage of your total points (lecture + lab) divided by the total points possible (~1470). Because the lab exams are weighted, lab will be ~55% and lecture ~45% of your total grade. Grading scale is the standard 90/80/70/60%.
  • You are expected to take all exams as scheduled. If you must miss an exam, make-ups will only be given if you notify me in advance. Lecture make-ups will be purely essay, i.e., 5 or 6 sheets of blank paper with one or two questions on each sheet. Lab make-ups  are extremely difficult to schedule and administer, and will mean that you are studying for two exams at the same time (not a good idea considering how much information is covered on each exam.).
You Are The Key To Success!

"What we are merely taught seldom nourishes the mind like that which we teach ourselves"
- Carter G. Woodson, 1933

 All of you can do well in this course if you're willing to put in the effort. The material covered is not difficult, but there is a huge body of facts that you must learn. My job is to help you learn anatomy in any way possible.

Ron's Rules for Success: Time Management and Cooperative Learning

"Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!"
                                  --Red Queen in "Alice Through the Looking Glass" by Lewis Carroll

Step 1: Don’t miss a lecture or lab. This is the first thing students from previous semesters offer for advice. There is simply too much material covered too rapidly to catch up if you get behind. Skipping class and relying on the web-posted lecture notes is a guaranteed recipe for failure. Skipping a lab is equivalent to missing an entire week of class. If you must miss a lab, get in there and cover the material before the next scheduled session.
  • You are expected to be in class and in lab on time. Tardiness and absences will be noted and will have an adverse effect on your grade.
  • A major complaint from your clinical programs is lack of professional behavior from students. This is the time to start acting like a health care professional.
Step 2: Recopy your lecture notes, while reading the text, before the next lecture.

Step 3:
Label your figures first.

Step 4:
Make flash cards. Don’t put too much information on each card. Review these until you know the information. 
Step 5: Practice! Practice! Practice! For lecture, after learning your notes, put yourself in a test situation by answering

  • Review Worksheet questions
  • my objectives for each chapter
  • each chapter’s review questions
  • my sample exams (posted on this website).
For lab,
  • You should expect to be in the lab at least 3 times a week, studying over the actual lab materials.
  • Set up sample practical exams with a classmate to quiz yourself.
Use your VARK analysis for appropriate active learning activities for your particular learning style.

Step 6
: Manage your time well.  You should expect to devote 15-20 hours/week (that means 2-3 hours every day) if you wish to succeed. Schedule your life with a weekly template (available here).

Step 7: Get a "Study Buddy": Cooperative learning works! Most students swear that they owe their success to a reliable lab partner. This is supported by educational research which confirms that students who study with other students usually perform better on exams. This is particularly true with a course like anatomy where drill and repetition are important. Interaction with another student is the best way to review material and catch your mistakes.
  • If you are having difficulty, get help early. My job is to help you learn anatomy in any way possible. The sooner you seek help, the more options we have to improve your learning. I have many specific activities that I can prescribe based on your individual learning style.

    The REWARD for all this effort will be much more than simply acquiring the anatomical information necessary for further education. Success in this course will give you the study skills, perseverance, and confidence needed to complete a rigorous professional health curriculum.

Academic Honesty
It should be self evident that you are expected to do your own work, relying only on your brain and trusty lucky pencil during exams. Cheating will be dealt with harshly, as described in the Cameron University Catalog.

Attendance & Withdrawal
You are expected to be in class and in lab on time. Tardiness and absences will be noted and will have an adverse effect on your grade. If you are late to an exam, you will be required to take an essay make-up exam.

I will follow the University-mandated  withdrawal dates and policies  (available on the Cameron website Academic Calendar page).

Cell Phones
Please turn your cell phones off before class and remove all ear buds. If your phone rings or I see you texting, you will lose all extra credit points for the semester (~50 point penalty). If a true emergency exists that necessitates you being in constant contact with the outside world, let me know before class.

Children: No children are allowed in lecture nor in lab.

It is the policy of Cameron University to accommodate students with disabilities, pursuant to federal and state law. Students with disabilities who need special accommodations must make their requests by contacting the Office of Student Development at 581-2209, North Shepler Room 314.

Updated August  2017