Tuesday, March 17, 2020

COVID-19 Scramble: Adapting to Remote Learning, Suddenly

Well, friends, I'll bet most of us didn't see this pandemic coming. Not to the extent of impact it's had on the teaching and learning of anatomy and physiology. But it's here and we're going to roll with the punches and deliver a positive and productive learning experience for our students, right?

To help us all get ourselves organized and on the right track as we adapt to suddenly having to move our face-to-face course homes to a remote venue out there in the vast expanse of space, I've assembled a few "get started" resources to help you adapt.


Quickly Moving to Remote Delivery—The Musical

This is an "emergency" bonus episode of my podcast (The A&P Professor). The brief audio presentation presents nineteen tips on how to get started. And there are three A&P songs from my friend and fellow A&P teacher, Greg Crowther. For a sing-along! We could all use a light-hearted sing-along about sodium ions right now, am I right?

Go to theAPprofessor.org/64b for an audio player plus a lot of links and other resources. Or subscribe in your favorite podcast player and look for Episode 64b. If you subscribe, you can access the links and images in the shows notes of each episode right there in your podcast player. And you'll also automatically get more episodes with tips on how to cope with the current situation—and so much more

There is also an earlier episode called Mid-Winter Winterizing of Our Courses meant to help prepare us before this all flooded in upon us. Many of these prep tips are still useful, even as the metaphorical flood waters continue to rise all around us. Go to theAPprofessor.org/63b

TEACH Instructor Resources for Anatomy & Physiology

This little gem has been there all along! Really. In your Evolve (Instructor) Resources for Structure & Function of the Body 16th Edition.  TEACH has all kinds of tips and strategies that can be used to generate ideas for learning activities that can be adapted for remote teaching.

Included in TEACH are:
  • Lesson Plans
  • Student Handouts
  • PowerPoint Slides
  • Pretest Questions and Pretest Answers


If you don't have an Evolve account, then just go to evolve.elsevier.com and click on Sign In in the upper right, then click on Create Account near the bottom of the form that pops up. Make sure you apply for a faculty account. It will take a day or so to verify your faculty status.


In the search box on the home page, or when you click Catalog at the top, type in Evolve Resources for Structure & Function of the Body 16th Edition, then request access. The TEACH resources will be listed in the Instructor Resources tab.




But wait! There's more...

Besides the TEACH resources and Teaching Tips, there are all kinds of other resources in your  Evolve (Instructor) Resources for Structure & Function of the Body 16th Edition:

  • Audience Response Questions—meant for "clicker" systems in a classroom, they can be easily adapted for online presentations to spark student thinking during an online "lecture" or demonstration.
  • Image Collection—contains (labeled and unlabeled) jpeg and PowerPoint versions of each image from the textbook.
  • Test Bank—can be a great resource for quickly constructing online quizzes and reviews. Consider using them for Testing-as-Teaching, a type of retrieval practice mentioned later in this post.

The A&P Professor

I already mentioned The A&P Professor podcast, but there is lot more there for you than those "emergency" bonus episodes. It's worth exploring the whole list for practical tips and advice as you move to remote teaching.

The great thing about podcast episodes is that you can listen to them while you are wiping down the surfaces in your home, making your family's meals, and rearranging your stacks of toilet paper.

Here are a few selected topics to start with:


Besides the podcast, The A&P Professor website includes other resources, such as online seminars for teaching anatomy and physiology. Here are a couple that may be helpful as this time:

Free eText

VitalSource and Elsevier have partnered to provide eText access to students. To assist students at disrupted semester-calendar schools who are losing access to course materials due to COVID-19 campus closures, VitalSource has been joined by Elsevier to offer free access to etexts to students whose classes have moved online from March 16 through May 25, 2020. Students will be able to access the expansive catalog of eTexts from participating publishers through the VitalSource Bookshelf app effective immediately.


Besides this being useful to students who are "stuck without" their textbooks, it can offer additional opportunities to connect with students in a remote environment. 

For example, something that I do in an online course I teach is let my students "subscribe" to the highlights and notes in my own copy of the eText version of the textbook. 

I can mark areas of particular importance, add commentary on what they should be looking at in a section or illustration, and clarify concepts that commonly challenge student learning. This could be particularly useful in "holding the hand" of a confused and dazed student who is trying to adapt to a new learning environment.

Coloring Book

I've been seeing a lot of advice to folks in general, telling them to sit around as a family and color in their coloring books. That makes a lot of sense in terms of diffusing stress and connecting in a positive way with those with whom we are house-bound. 

Why not suggest to students to do that, but use Mosby's Anatomy & Physiology Coloring Book as one of their coloring books? 

In a post from my blog The A&P Student, I recommend coloring as a way to study anatomy and physiology in a new and fun way—that also calms the nerves. So their nerves will become calm as they study their nerves! Check out Coloring Books Are Powerful Study Tools (And They Help Manage Stress).


Okay, whew! That's enough for now, eh? Don't hesitate to reach out if I can be of help to you. And don't forget your Elsevier Education Solutions Consultant!

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