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Human Embryology

ANAT 471 Human Embryology

 Fall 2023 (Online), Winter 2024 (Blended)
 Year 4 Optional Course
 9-10 hours/week
 3 units
On-Campus Course
Online Course

ANAT 471 is a course on human embryology that uses a series of carefully curated online modules, group learning activities, assignments, and inquiry-based learning, to enable students to explore the stages of normal human embryonic and fetal development, as well as some of the underlying mechanisms involved in common congenital or developmental abnormalities. Through active and collaborative learning, students will need to apply knowledge gained from the course material to investigate and critically assess key concepts in embryology research. In addition, students will need to apply course content and think critically in completing a problem-based learning (PBL) assignment. The course has various types of assessments including low stakes online quizzes, a journal club, a PBL developmental abnormality investigation, and a midterm and final exam.

Minimum 3rd year (level 3) standing and one of [(ANAT 100/3.0; ANAT 101/3.0 and ANAT 380/3.0); (ANAT 215/3.0 and ANAT 216/3.0); (ANAT 315/3.0 and ANAT 316/3.0)].

ANAT 417/3.0

Online format with materials, communication, and assignment submissions all via the learning management system (e.g. onQ, Elentra).

With successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify and describe the embryological development of tissues, organs and systems as well as how changes in the process can be linked to abnormal physiological development.
  2. Critically develop and appraise questions and concepts related to gaps in contemporary embryological knowledge to create a cogent research proposal
  3. Apply knowledge from course content and external peer-reviewed literature to predict the functional sequelae of abnormal physiological development as well as linking the condition to medical interventions. 

The course learning outcomes and assessments that correspond with the program competencies are indicated below:

  1. Communicator (Assessments 1, 3, 5)
  2. Advocate (Assessment 3)
  3. Leader (Assessment 1)
  4. Scholar (Assessments 1, 3)
  5. Professional (Assessments 1, 4, 5)
  6. Collaborator (Assessments 1,3)
  7. Content Expert (Assessment 2, 3, 4, 5)

Assessment 1 - Journal Club 15%

Students will participate in three discussion boards, in pre-assigned groups of six, to answer questions regarding assigned readings from peer-reviewed literature. The students will discuss the study rationale, methodologies, results, conclusions, as well as modern ethical and research issues. Students will post responses to the questions and will be responsible for critiquing the responses of their peers to foster academic discussion.

Assessment 2 - Online Quizzes 10%

Students will be offered up to twelve low stakes quizzes, involving multiple-choice as well as identification and structure-function relationship short answer questions, designed to facilitate formative learning as well as to confirm the knowledge and integration of the module content.

For example, only 10 quizzes will contribute towards the final grade calculation as the two lowest grades may be dropped. The 10 quizzes will each be worth 1% and will align with the weekly module material.

Assessment 3 – Developmental Abnormality Investigation 30%

This is a written, problem-based learning (PBL) assignment in which students will be presented with a developmental abnormality that relates to the module content. Students will submit written answers to various questions about the underlying alteration in embryological development that led to this specific abnormality. Students will need to read and cite appropriate peer-reviewed literature, while developing their responses to the knowledge, application, and extension questions. Note: students will be assigned a stakeholder position (e.g. genetics counselor, research scientist, family member, fetal surgeon), and will be required to answer the extension questions from this specific point of view, as supported by relevant academic sources. Students will be required to provide peer feedback on the responses to extension questions of two of their peers, who will hold a different stakeholder position. The students will advocate for the interests of their stakeholder and respectfully compare the similarities and differences between stakeholder views. The instructor will provide prompts to guide these peer feedback responses. The graded submission of the PBL is worth 20%, and the peer feedback is worth 10%, which will be graded based on the quality of the feedback given. 

Assessment 4 - Midterm Exam 15%

Students will complete an online proctored midterm exam to assess their ability to apply knowledge and demonstrate an understanding of the course material. This evaluation will consist of multiple-choice questions related to module content.

Assessment 5 - Final Exam 30%

Students will complete an online proctored final exam to assess their ability to apply knowledge and demonstrate an understanding of the course material. This evaluation will consist of multiple-choice and short answer questions related to course content.

Students can expect to spend 9-10 hours a week in study/practice and online activity for ANAT 471 (total time commitment 120 hours to complete the course).