Designing Foundational Courses

Designing Foundational Courses

Barbara A. Frey (D. Ed. University of Pittsburgh, USA), Richard G. Fuller (Robert Morris University, USA) and Gary William Kuhne (Penn State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-865-4.ch012
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Personal Reflection Suggestions

Think about a topic that you know really well. It does not have to be academic–it can be a topic related to business, family, sports, hobbies, or any other subject. Do you consider yourself an expert on this topic? How did you learn this subject? How do you know that you thoroughly understand it? Consider how you would teach this topic to another person.


Example One: Online Anatomy And Physiology Course

Generally speaking, an Anatomy and Physiology (A&P) course serves as the foundation for a number of biology and health-related programs. Many programs such as nursing, physician training, and allied health programs use an A & P course as foundational knowledge. The information presented and learned in this course serves as not only the basis for other classes but also for practice. A typical A&P course may cover the following topics:

  • Basic Terminology

  • Basic Structures of the Human Body

  • Human Body Chemistry of Life

  • Cell Structure

  • Cellular Metabolism and Reproduction: Mitosis and Meiosis

  • Tissues

  • Integumentary (Skin) System

  • Skeletal System

  • Articular System

  • Muscular System

  • Nervous System

  • Endocrine System

  • Blood

  • Cardiovascular System

  • Lymphatic System

  • Reproductive System

  • Digestive System

  • Respiratory System

  • Urinary System

  • General Receptor Organs

A typical anatomy and physiology course may have some of the following objectives:

  • Define the anatomic terms used to refer to the body in terms of directions and geometric planes.

  • Describe the major cavities of the body and the organs they contain.

  • Illustrate the anatomical location of anatomical structures and explain their function.

  • Identify the major components in each of the body systems and differentiate roles of each in conjunction with the others.

  • Identify the anatomical structures in the digestive system and relate them to the aspects of digestion.

Let’s look at an example unit or weekly lesson focused on the cardiovascular system. The objectives for such a unit may include:

  • Label the anatomical structures of the cardiovascular system.

  • List and describe the electrical pathways and their role in heart function.

  • Outline and analyze the structures of the heart in scope and design and explain their integration with the respiratory system.

  • Explain the role and integral functioning of the cardiovascular structures.

  • Appreciate the function of the cardiovascular system in the network of the body.

The online posted lesson may look like the following example weekly module:

Cardiovascular System Online Lesson

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