Creative Ways to Integrate Anatomy & Physiology Revealed (APR) Into Your Course

Published March 20, 2019

By Michael Koot, PhD, Director of Digital Content

Anatomy & Physiology Revealed (APR) is a website that utilizes photographs of a real human cadaver. It contains different layers of these photographs, which can be virtually dissected by the user. APR is organized by body system. Each body system contains dissection, animation, histology, imaging (when applicable), and quiz modules or study areas. Within a region, it also shows surrounding structures from other systems. For example, the thorax module in the cardiovascular system notes the surface projections of the heart, key skeletal landmarks, associated structures of the bronchial tree, and nerves of the thorax.

Customized structure lists can be created within APR. Instructors can select from the entire structure list (approximately 3,600 different structures and 228 animations) to choose objectives that specifically fit their course (“my Course Content” feature), or instructors can choose a structure list that has already been created to pair with any of McGraw-Hill’s A&P textbooks. This customized structure list then becomes the default list (“my Course Content”) for the course, but the student always has the option to toggle over to see all structures (“All Content”) found in APR. The help video “Course Content Builder” found on the bottom of the home screen will guide you through the process of creating your own “my Course Content”. You only have to create this list one time, and can then use it year after year. If you decide to update your existing customized list, you can then push out your changes through the same list code. Lists can also be shared between instructors, or even for an entire course made of multiple sections. A student-facing video (“My course content”) explains how students can use this feature (also located in the help videos area).

We have gathered some creative ideas and best practices that to help integrate APR into your course—and maybe add some fun…

APR as a Digital Anatomy Atlas: APR can easily be used as a student resource to look up structures for self-discovery during lab time. The search box feature allows the user to quickly find all possible locations of any structure within the different modules. The pronounce button allows the user to hear correct audio pronunciations of every structure in the APR program. A novice learner can use the search and pronounce features together to quickly learn how to say these anatomical terms correctly. And, APR is mobile-friendly, so it’s an important and easily accessed digital atlas during lab time.

APR for Recorded Lectures or Demonstrations: APR is a great resource to use with video screen capture software (i.e. Tegrity, Camtasia, etc.) to create recorded lectures or tutorials (screencasts) that examine the spatial relationships between anatomical structures. This is an efficient alternative to using static PPT images to explain complex topics. Instructors can create recorded video demonstrations to be played at different stations during lab time, or used as dissection instructions in courses with a dissection component. Instructors could also assign students (or small groups) to create recorded screencasts that employ APR to explain certain topics that could then be shared with the class.

APR as a Pre-Lab Activity and Self-Study Tool: Instructors can tell students to study certain modules within a given body system before lab to better prepare for the lab’s objectives. If instructors create a custom structure list for their course (“My Course Content” feature), it’s easy for students to know what structures within each body system they need to study. APR is also an invaluable self-study tool! The quiz tab allows students to test themselves and learn from their mistakes. The quiz mode includes a “lab practical” option in which the students need to correctly type the tagged structure to answer correctly, and the challenging “click to identify” question type.

APR Quiz as Lab Entrance or Exit Ticket: Are your students not prepared for lab? How about using the APR Quiz feature as a quick way to make them responsible for doing some pre-lab work? Tell them to study a specific lab topic. Then, when they feel prepared they can go to the APR Quiz and take a 10 or 25 question quiz on a specific topic. This quiz will generate a scored, time and date stamped pdf that you can collect on paper or digitally as proof that the student is ready for lab. Tell your students that they can retake the quiz until they score a specific percentage on the quiz. The pdf with the quiz score becomes the student’s lab “Entrance Ticket”. Are your students in a rush to leave lab once they have checked off all the objectives / structures in their lab manual? You can also use the APR Quiz as a lab “Exit Ticket”. Before a student or a lab group can leave lab, they need to show you proof that they obtained a certain percentage on a specific APR Quiz related to that day’s lab. Both of these ideas require very little time investment from the instructor.

Create APR Assignments in Connect®: If you want to design more specific practice, homework, pre-lab, post-lab, or quiz assignments, you can use Connect to build assignments that utilize APR images. By pulling from the APR Question Bank, which contains more than 1,000 different questions, (question source: Anatomy & Physiology Revealed Question Bank in MHHE Course-wide Content), instructors can easily create “virtual lab” assignments that can be used for pre-lab or post-lab assignments. Using APR images in this type of assignment that is tied to low-stakes assessments will drive students to start using APR as a study tool. Instructors can edit the questions in Connect (easily customize it to fit their course), answer choices, and even write their own feedback. By providing students with feedback, instructors have the ability to help their students learn from their errors. The Connect assignment platform also allows for easy question pooling, has many flexible assignment policies, and leverages robust data reporting features.

APR for Active Learning: Connect assignments utilizing APR images can be used for small group, active learning activities in lecture or lab. Many of the APR image questions in Connect allow for the drag and drop labeling of multiple structures, which creates opportunities for group members to engage in collaboration. Or, simply use the APR Quiz if you do not have time to create your own Connect assignments. APR can also be used for “scavenger hunts”. You can challenge individual students or small groups to find a certain structure in the shortest amount of time (be sure to tell students they can’t use the search box tool). This is an activity that can be used as a fun and engaging review before a quiz or exam.

APR Images for Documents: Instructors can easily use the “save image” feature in APR to copy and paste an image with a specific highlighted structure into a PowerPoint for lecture, or even into a document to be used for lab practical exams. This image could be printed and placed at individual stations during a lab exam or projected to the entire class. This is a great way to leverage the excellent histology and radiology images that are in APR. Students can also use this feature to create their own study materials using APR images.

APR Images Used with Social Media Technologies to Increase Student Engagement: It’s easy for instructors using APR to utilize the “save image” feature and then use Twitter or Instagram (or any other social media tool) to share the image and associated questions with their students.

APR Enhanced PowerPoint Files: McGraw-Hill Education provides PowerPoint Files that feature imagery from APR and your specific book (i.e. Saladin A&P, McKinley A&P, McKinley Human Anatomy, etc.) combined in one PowerPoint file. These interactive slide decks make your lectures stand out!

APR Used with the Broyles Workbook to Extend the Laboratory Experience. This self-paced and guided workbook for APR extends the laboratory experience and is a great pre-lab solution or effective way for an online course to guide student learning in APR.

Be Creative! You are bound to find other ways to utilize APR in your A&P course, so have fun!

Michael Koot

Michael Koot, PhD
I joined McGraw-Hill in August 2014 after spending nine years as a faculty member at Michigan State University in the Division of Human Anatomy. At MSU, I taught medical gross anatomy in both medical schools and was the undergraduate human anatomy course director. Previous to my position at MSU, I taught A&P as an adjunct faculty member at Lansing Community College. I have taught in several different formats, including traditional lectures, blended/hybrid courses, and a “flipped” classroom that emphasized engaged and active learning. I have a strong interest in educational technology. I have presented at, and attended, many faculty seminars and workshops in this field. I received my PhD in biological anthropology from MSU with a dissertation that focused on Ohio Hopewell skeletal populations.