Ever dreamed of rearranging the order of topics in your course. That is, have you ever wanted to shift the order of topics as they are presented in your textbook to fit the way you tell your story of the human body? Without the obstacles of assigning a half-chapter here and the other half-chapter there—and possibly causing some students to get a bit lost?
Yeah, me too. That's why I've worked hard to move away from the gigantic-chapter model we see in most A&P textbooks to the modular model in our Anatomy & Physiology textbook. Instead of the usual 20-something large chapters commonly seen, our textbook has 48 chapters—but about the same number of pages as all the others. That is, those gigantic chapters have been broken down into smaller bits.
Besides the advantage of making our reading assignments less intimidating for students, the arrangement of concepts in smaller chapters also means that it is far easier for any instructor to move things around a bit to better suit their particular telling of the A&P story.
For example, because the introduction to homeostasis is its own short chapter, faculty have the choice to move it's place in the course to the very beginning—before all those directional terms and cavities, and so forth Or one could move it a bit later in the course, after the foundational chemistry, cell, and tissue coverage to just prior to beginning covering the first body system.
The short stress chapter could be moved earlier or later in the course, without having to separate it out of another larger chapter that covers other topics as well.
One could even decide to have students learn the appendicular skeleton first, before getting to that intimidating skull and vertebral column.
If you've not looked at the Patton Anatomy & Physiology text in a while, this might be a good time to check it out and think about it's modular structure may be a better fit for your A&P course.
You may want to learn more about the story of our smaller chapters by reading these brief posts:
- Chunking Content Provides Flexibility
- Reducing Text Anxiety
- Chunking Chapters - By the Numbers
- Homeostasis Deserves Its Own Chapter