Several features of this book are designed to facilitate the student's learning.
I divide each chapter into typically five or six segments of just a few pages each, with a list of learning objectives at the beginning and a list of "Before You Go On" content review questions at the end of each one. This enables students to set tangible goals for short study periods and to assess their progress before moving on.
A&P students must assimilate a large working vocabulary. This is far easier and more meaningful if they can pronounce words correctly and if they understand the roots that compose them. Chapter 1 now has a section, "The Language of Medicine," which I hope will help get students into the habit of breaking new words into familiar roots, and help them appreciate the importance of precision in spelling and word use. Pronunciation guides are given parenthetically when new words are introduced, using a "pro-NUN-see-AY-shun" format that is easy for students to interpret. New terms are accompanied by footnotes that identify their roots and origins, and a lexicon of about 400 most commonly used roots and affixes appears in appendix C (p. A-7).
Each chapter has about 75 to 90 self-testing questions in various formats and three levels of difficulty: recall, description, and analysis or application. The ability to recall terms and facts is tested by 20 multiple choice and sentence completion questions in the chapter review. The ability to describe concepts is tested by the "Before You Go On" questions at the ends of the chapter subdivisions, totaling about 20 to 30 such questions per chapter. The ability to analyze and apply ideas and to relate concepts in different chapters to each other is tested by an average of 5 "Think About It" questions at intervals throughout each chapter, 5 "Testing Your Comprehension" essay questions at the end of the chapter, 10 "True/False" questions in the chapter review that require the student to analyze why the false statements are untrue, and usually 5 questions per chapter in the figure legends, prompting the student to analyze or extrapolate from information in the illustrations. A great number and variety of additional questions are available to students at the Online Learning Center.
Most instructors would probably agree on the need to emphasize the interrelationships among organ systems and to discourage the idea that a system can be put out of one's mind after a test is over. This book reinforces the interdependence of the organ systems in three ways.
1. Beginning with chapter 3 (p. 93), each chapter has a "Brushing Up" box that lists concepts from earlier chapters that one should understand before moving on. This may also be useful to students who are returning to college and need to freshen up concepts studied years before, and to instructors who teach the systems in a different order than the book does. It also reinforces the continuity between A&P I and II.
2. For each organ system, there is a "Connective Issues" feature (p. 212, for example) that summarizes ways in which that system influences all of the others of the body, and how it is influenced by them in turn.
3. Chapter 29 includes a section, "Senescence of the Organ Systems," which can serve as a "capstone lesson" that compellingly shows how the age-related degeneration of each system influences, and is influenced by, the others. Senescence is an increasingly important topic for health-care providers as the population increases in average age. This section should sensitize readers not only to the issues of gerontology, but also to measures they can take at a young age to ensure a better quality of life later on. For instructors who prefer to treat senescence of each organ system separately throughout the course, earlier chapters cite the relevant pages of this senescence discussion.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.