Human Biology

Biology 105

I was first asked to teach Biology 105: Human Biology in Fall 2017 following the cancellation of a section of Human Anatomy and Physiology. The original course was basically Human Anatomy and Physiology lite. It had a LOT of anatomy in it. I started thinking about what was the goal of this course, what would a student need to know when they left the room. I refocused the course around what a social worker (the primary students in the course) would need to know about human health for their career and to be an informed patient. This made the course very physiology heavy.

I also made a conscious decision to change the book for the course from a $120 textbook (Mader's Human Biology) to a very visual $40 workbook, the Visual Analogy Guide to Physiology. In Spring 2018, the students were given the option to download all of the Visible Body apps for $10 as a supplement. Students were also often assigned a curated set of youtube videos as course materials.

I have continued to consult with Coco Le, the current instructor of the course as she is making it her own. It has been wonderful to see its continued evolution.

Between the first and second offering of this course, I changed a few of the units, enhancing topics that students were interested in learning about (ex. the neuroscience of learning) and removing some that I felt did not add to the course (ex. anatomical terminology). I also added a project, where the students would use their scientific knowledge to examine a topic related to food/nutrition that came from their ethnic/cultural/social background.

IIQ Data

Biol 105 2017.pdf


Harley Biol 105 2017 syllabus.pdf
Human Biology schedule 2018 spring.pdf
Learning objectives for each unit are presented to students on the first day. This helps them to focus their learning.

Sample Lesson

Schedule for the day

07_ATP and transport Biol 105 2018.pdf
Lab 07 Diffusion biol 105 2018.pdf
Part 1 of the lab is done following the first part of the lecture (Slide 14). The class then engages in discussion before part 2 of the lab. At the end of class we come back together again to discuss and journal. Students are taught through a mix of experience based learning, review, and lecture.

Sample Student Work

Students are asked to journal following each lesson. They are given a prompt based on what they learned that day. This is a sample journal.
Journaling is an evidence based method of increasing retention
Carbohydrates nutrition project.pdf
Students are asked to perform a group project whereby each group researches and presents on a different biological macromolecule to the rest of the class. This is a teaching technique known as a jigsaw which has been shown to improve student performance.

Sample assessments

Biol 105 Exam 2 2017.pdf
Biol 105 Exam 2 2018.pdf