With the rapid growth of online education, one challenge we encounter is how to teach online A&P courses that have a lab component. In a recent webinar with OLC and Carolina Distance Learning, Alanna Tynes, Prof. of Biology at Lone Star College, shared her experience building and offering online A&P labs in partnership with Carolina Biological Distance Learning. Joining Alanna, Shannon McGurk, from Carolina Biological, explained the logistics of using investigations that have been designed for the off-campus setting, while maintaining safety and college-level rigor, giving students the opportunity to experience the hands-on component of A&P labs taught online.
Colleges and universities continuously look for ways to offer students more opportunities for a better experience with science education at a distance, away from the traditional lab space. The best way to learn science is to do science. A large component of an A&P lab course is the dissection piece. Dissections are easily done away from the traditional lab, often offering students more of an opportunity to demonstrate their mastery of the subject as they can’t rely on lab partners to do the heavy lifting for them in the lab like they may when sharing specimens. Instructors require students to submit photos and videos of their work to demonstrate mastery.
The webinar goes on to describe other methods of assessing students at a distance, as well as offering a list of suggested “what not to dos” that have been learned over years of teaching A&P in the online modality.
The link to the recorded webinar can be found here: How To Teach Anatomy & Physiology Lab Online.
Shannon McGurk is the Director of Distance Learning at Carolina Biological Supply Company. With Master’s degrees in both Biology and Education, Shannon joined Carolina Biological Supply Company in 2015 with more than 15 years of higher education experience. She has been active in the online learning community for more than 10 years. Her experience includes curriculum development, instructional design, teaching, and compliance and accreditation.