Q&A Report: Examining the Anatomy and Physiology Lab Experience

Join Wendy Riggs for a deep dive into the virtual Anatomy and Physiology Labs that she runs at College of the Redwoods and how she uses technology to facilitate meaningful learning opportunities for her students.

Do many post-bachelor health professional schools (medicine, veterinary, dental, etc.) accept online labs for their admission eligibility course requirements?

W. Riggs: I can’t answer this with any comprehensive authority, but in my experience, the modality of the lab isn’t actually reported on a student’s transcript, so the student must self-report their lab modality in their application if an institution is going to find out that information. Additionally, most programs that I know of are making accommodations for courses taken during the global pandemic. However, I’d be interested in learning more about this.

What examples of "kitchen labs" can you recommend for Anatomy and Physiology online courses?

W. Riggs: Kitchen labs use resources that students already have access to. I’ve done osmosis (in general biology), experiments with the senses, DNA extraction, and reaction times. I wonder if there are any digestion activities you could do? It would be fun to crowdsource this question on the HAPS email listserv!

Our HAPS email listserv conversations are archived, so if the discussions happened there, then you’ll have access to them! We’ve also recorded several town halls about labs, so if that’s where you got the info you’ll have access to those too.

Are there any grants or funding opportunities to purchase equipment like LT sensors for courses or do you just rely on institutional funds?

W. Riggs: The Dean of our Career and Technical Education division purchased LT sensors for us and they used funds from a “Strong Workforces” grant. They made the case that our Anatomy & Physiology classes are pre-requisites that feed into our nursing program, so supporting us helps them!

Do the LT sensor labs require sending equipment to students remotely?

W. Riggs: One student needs to have a set of sensors, so you’d either have one student pick up the sensors, or you could send them a kit. The rest of the group can participate in the activities online, and see the live data. Pretty cool.

For more information about Lt Sensors visit https://www.adinstruments.com/lt/sensors

Are there liability, privacy, and FERPA concerns on the LT sensors for "at-home" experiments?

W. Riggs: We had many liability questions about home labs when we moved online due to COVID. I trusted my administrators to guide me. I know some of my science lab colleagues have students do safety quizzes, etc. But you’d definitely need to check out your institutional policies.

NOTE: ADInstruments is committed to protecting and respecting you and your students’ privacy. There will be an agreement signed between every educational institution and ADInstruments before students access Lt. This agreement will review and detail ADInstruments compliance of FERPA. ADInstruments’ agreements can be found here.

How do the LT sensors compare to Vernier software (effectiveness, ease of use, cost)?

W. Riggs: I haven’t used Vernier tools before, so I can’t comment on this. But if you have, I encourage you to reach out to ADInstruments for more information. They’ll help you compare the two!