|Chunking breaks content into smaller bits|
This post builds on these ideas by introducing the value of breaking textbook content into smaller chunks when adapting the textbook content to the specific needs of your A&P course.
In an article I wrote last year at The A&P Professor titled Your Textbook is a Mitten, Not a Glove, I called attention to the fact that each of us tailors the depth and range of topics, the style of presentation, and sometimes the sequence of concepts, to fit the specific objectives of a course—or even a particular section of the A&P course. I believe that a thoughtfully chunked textbook assists both instructors and students in making the textbook "fit" the course.
Flexibility in selecting and organizing content for your course is enhanced by having the Anatomy & Physiology textbook broken down into smaller units. For example, by having the entire course broken down into 48 chapters—instead of the usual 20-something chapters—the instructor can "move around" content into a different sequence from the Anatomy & Physiology textbook's sequence with very little disruption to the students. Reducing disruption by being able to move whole chapters—rather than a half or third of a chapter here and there--can greatly enhance the student experience. It also makes it easier for the instructor, who is thus relieved from unraveling the confusion in syllabi, course schedules, and student inquiries.
And "good luck" if your students are using a published workbook or online adaptive learning tool that is organized by chapter.
In Anatomy & Physiology, however, separate chapters on lymphatics, innate immunity, and adaptive immunity make it very easy to reorganize—or even skip—topics to suit the needs of a particular A&P course.
|Students benefit from clear organization|
Chunking has many benefits—and we can now see that enhancing the instructor's flexibility in organizing course content is one of them. And that can result in less student confusion—and greater student success.
Images: Robert Michie (top)
Griszka Niewiadomski (bottom)