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Directions in A&P Teaching | Where We’ve Been & Where We Are Going | Future Trends | TAPP 107

Directions in A&P Teaching | Where We’ve Been & Where We Are Going | Future Trends

TAPP Radio Episode 107


Episode | Quick Take

Episode 107 of The A&P Professor podcast for anatomy & physiology faculty starts off its fifth season with a debriefing of the last year, just like we do with our teaching, plus a look ahead. We’ll review host Kevin Patton’s predictions from last year and make some new predictions for this year. And makes some plans, too.

  • 0:00:00 | Introduction
  • 0:01:19 | Look Back: Milestones & New Projects
  • 0:19:17 | 2021 Topics: Teaching & Learning
  • 0:35:29 | Remembering Linda Swisher
  • 0:37:00 | 2021 Topics: Science Updates
  • 0:43:22 | Our Sponsors
  • 0:47:23 | 2021 Predictions Revisited
  • 0:58:06 | Look Forward: New Habits
  • 1:02:04 | Look Forward: 2022 Predictions
  • 1:17:05 | Staying Connected


Episode | Listen Now

Episode | Show Notes

May this be the day
We come together.


Mourning, we come to mend,
Withered, we come to weather,


Torn, we come to tend,
Battered, we come to better.


Tethered by this year of yearning,
We are learning
That though we weren’t ready for this,
We have been readied by it.


Steadily we vow that no matter
How we are weighed down,
We must always pave a way forward.

(Amanda Gorman)


Look Back: Milestones & New Projects

18 minutes

We look back at some significant events new initiatives of the past year/season.

Directions in A&P Teaching | Where We've Been & Where We Are Going | Future Trends | TAPP 107


2021 Topics: Teaching & Learning

16 minutes

We look at the major themes and topics in teaching and learning over the past season. It’s a good way to remind ourselves of topics we want to go back and revisit, as well as remind ourselves of what we heard over the last year.


Remembering Linda Swisher

1.5 minutes

A brief tribute to nurse and A&P educator Linda Swisher.


2021 Topics: Science Updates

6.5 minute

Wow. We covered a lot of different discoveries and other updates in the concepts and content of human science.


Our Sponsors

4 minutes

Thanks to our three faithful sponsors! They’re our sponsors because of a shared mission. And because they’re really nice! Please remember to thank them next time you interact with them. Or maybe just do it now.


2021 Predictions Revisited

10.5 minute

How did Kevin do in his predictions from last year’s debriefing episode?


Look Forward: New Habits

4 minutes

Find out Kevin’s commitment to a new habit. And a request for your help!


Look Forward: 2022 Predictions

15 minutes

Hmmm. What are Kevin’s psychic predictions for 2022? What are YOUR predictions? (Let us know!)

Need help accessing resources locked behind a paywall?
Check out this advice from Episode 32 to get what you need!

Episode | Captioned Audiogram

Episode | Transcript

The A&P Professor podcast (TAPP radio) episodes are made for listening, not reading. This transcript is provided for your convenience, but hey, it’s just not possible to capture the emphasis and dramatic delivery of the audio version. Or the cool theme music.  Or laughs and snorts. And because it’s generated by a combo of machine and human transcription, it may not be exactly right. So I strongly recommend listening by clicking the audio player provided.

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Kevin Patton (00:00:01):
In a poem written for the start of 2022 called New Day’s Lyric, the poet Amanda Gorman writes these lines… May this be the day we come together. Mourning, we come to mend, withered, we come to weather. Torn, we come to tend, battered, we come to better. Tethered by this year of yearning, we are learning that though we weren’t ready for this we have been readied to by it. Steadily we vow that no matter how we are weighed down, we must always pave a way forward.

Aileen (00:00:47):
Welcome to The A&P Professor, a few minutes to focus on teaching human anatomy & physiology with a veteran educator and teaching mentor, your host, Kevin Patton.

Kevin Patton (00:00:57):
In this episode, I look back at the previous season of this podcast, including the predictions I made last year, and I make some new predictions for 2022.

Look Back: Milestones & New Projects

Kevin Patton (00:01:19):
Well, I finally woke up from my long winters nap. I released the previous episode on the first Tuesday in December and then I took some time away from podcasting to rest, relax and refresh. And even though I was tented to hit the snooze button after that long winter’s nap, I resisted. And I’m back with our traditional look back slash look ahead episode. Now you already know debriefing is something I like to do at the end of the academic year, sometimes more often. I’ve been talking about that since, oh way back in episode 11, when I explained the process of debriefing for students and for faculty. So that’s what we’re going to do right now and look at some of the milestones we hit for example.

Kevin Patton (00:02:20):
One of those milestones is…

that we hit 100,000 downloads of this podcast. That’s kind of a big deal. Most podcasts don’t last that long.

Kevin Patton (00:02:31):
And so, yeah, I’m kind of proud of sticking with it that long and not pod fading before now, someday there will be an end to this podcast, but not yet. Another milestone we hit was our 100th episode, at least officially, I think it was 130-something technically because for a while there we were having preview episodes. So some podcast players will count them that way. But in terms of numbered episodes, we hit 100 during this past season. Another thing we did during this past season was we switched the schedule around a little bit to have a new episode drop on the first and third Tuesday of each month. So if you’re a regular listener, that’s going to kind of help you plan ahead and kind of look for the new episodes when they drop.

Kevin Patton (00:03:24):
Also in 2021, we had a few new initiatives or projects or changes or updates or whatever. One of those is that we got The A&P Professor Education program up and running, and that involves micro-credentials or badges or certificates. And these micro-credentials are a good way to keep track of your professional development when you listen to a podcast, when you watch one of the online seminars at our website, when you read one of the books that’s recommended in The A&P Professor Book Club. The reason why you might want to keep track of all that professional development is for, well, our institutional processes, such as promotions and peer reviews and other kinds of job related reviews and planning and things like that. It’s also good to keep track of it when we’re getting ready to look for our next job or when we’re getting ready to fill out a grant application, and it’s going to list some of our training and skills and these micro-credentials can go along with the more formal kind of credentials, your macro credentials such as your degrees and other kind of training.

Kevin Patton (00:04:43):
You can also keep track of this professional development for any award nominations that you might be filling out. So lots of reasons to keep track and this is an easy way to do it. Whenever you want to look back, you just go to your micro credential page, where you’re saving all of these badges and certificates and just go through them and list the kinds of things that you’ve been doing. Now, each of the micro-credentials that we provide here at The A&P Professor states the topics covered, and it states the time involved for each unit of learning. Whether it’s reading a book from The A&P Professor Book Club or listening to a podcast episode. Another good reason to make use of these micro-credentials is to experience the process of micro-credentials from the user standpoint. Many of our students are already earning micro-credentials in their other courses in various other programs that they do and it’s growing rapidly. I mean like exponentially.

Kevin Patton (00:05:46):
So I’d be really surprised if none of your students have ever run into badges or other kinds of micro-credentials. And it’s something that you might want to consider doing in your own course too. But if you do it in The A&P Professor Education program, as a user, you’re going to get that student experience. So you’ll know what’s working for you and what’s not working for you, what you like and what you don’t like, where the pain points are and things like that. So good way to sort of stay ahead of the game and stay up to date with what’s going on in education. And this is a really big movement in education right now, and it’s going to grow rather than shrink in the future. So there’s one of my predictions for next year. I didn’t have that on my list, but let’s put it on the list right now.

Kevin Patton (00:06:37):
Okay. So something else we did in this past year was that we switched things with the update newsletter. Now some of you were already subscribed to what was called the Nuzzel Newsletter, N-U-Z-Z-E-L. Nuzzel was a platform that provided a number of services, including the ability to send out a curated newsletter of headlines. And I did that for several years and some of you were subscribed to that. And last year they decided, well, they got sold or acquired by another company and that company decided that that newsletter service wasn’t something they were interested in continuing. So pretty suddenly they just dropped it. Luckily I found another service that’s not quite the same. I think in many ways it’s a lot better than the Nuzzel platform and I moved everything over there. Well, I didn’t move anything over there, it’s all, all the old stuff is the old stuff, but I started new in a platform called Revue, R-E-V-U-E.

Kevin Patton (00:07:40):
And that is owned by Twitter. And that gives me the ability to continue to provide a curated newsletter, which I’m now releasing three times a week. At least that’s the goal, except this week, I didn’t release one on Martin Luther King Day. So sometimes on a holiday take that day off, but there’ll be two more this week and three per week, more or less going forward from there. And so if you haven’t checked it out, you might want to because I can’t fit all of the updates on education and teaching related topics and all the updates that are on the science content of an A&P course and things like that in an episode. So here’s a way for me to put that surplus information out to you without putting it in the podcast. So you might want to go to theAPprofessor.org/updates, and there you can go through. You can browse some of the recent additions of that newsletter and see if it’s something that you want to subscribe to, and there’s no cost involved or anything.

Kevin Patton (00:08:49):
You just hit the subscribe button and you’ll start getting it three times a week and you can always quit. You can always unsubscribe. So it’s up to you, but I encourage you to look at that at least. Another thing that we did new this past year is that we added two more places to access transcripts of each episode. You may already know that the transcript is available below the show notes on each episode page at theAPprofessor.org. So if you go to theAPprofessor.org/107, you’ll see the episode page for this episode and near the top, right under the podcast player, you’ll see the show notes. And then below that you’ll see the transcript, or at least the first part of the transcript. You got to press a little button to enlarge that and see the whole transcript, because those transcripts are pretty long. And then below that you get a captioned audiogram, which sort of incorporates that transcript and a little YouTube player down below that on the episode page, or you can go straight to our YouTube channel at theAPprofessor.org/YouTube.

Kevin Patton (00:10:00):
So those are the places where we’ve always had the transcript, but I added two more places. One is in a website called Listen Notes and they have an app as well. And so in Listen Notes, which you can access by going to theAPprofessor.org/listennotes, all scrunched together into one word. And what you will see among other things there, is a clickable timestamped transcript. And what I mean by that is when you click on the timing of any part of the transcript, so let’s say you’ve come to a part of the transcript where like, oh yeah, here’s the part I want to listen to. You just click on the little timing and that’s there and that’s hyperlinked and that will start playing the transcript for you right there in the web page or app at Listen Notes. So there’s another place to find the transcript that has a little bit different functionality than we’ve seen so far.

Kevin Patton (00:11:01):
Another place where I’ve added the transcript is in the TAPP app. Now the TAPP app is a standalone app that you can get that is just for this podcast. And what I’ve done with that is add to each episode a bonus file. It’s a PDF file. And so each episode you will see a little, I think it’s like a little gift box icon up near the top of the screen when you’re in the app listening to an episode, you click on that and that will open up the PDF for you or allow you to download it. And that PDF is, probably the format of it is probably the easiest to read format of all the different transcript versions that you have available to you. Now, if you want to get the TAPP app, there’s no charge for it. Just go to theAPprofessor.org/tappapp. That’s T-A-P-P-A-P-P.

Kevin Patton (00:12:02):
You can do that. Or probably the easiest thing is just search for The A&P Professor in the app store on your device. And it’ll come up, it’ll say, do you want to install this app. There’s no charge for it and do whatever you do in your device to install that app, then click on it and you’ll start to see the episodes. And each of those episodes, the last few episodes, and then going forward, you’ll see that transcript in there. And if it’s not in there right away, then give me some time because sometimes I don’t, that takes a lot of time to get the transcript prepared so it’s not always there the day of release. It might be a day or two after that before it gets there. And don’t forget, wherever you get your transcript or the captioned audiogram that is supported by AAA, the American Association for Anatomy.

Kevin Patton (00:12:52):
I want to acknowledge that because that is a really big thing that AAA is doing for us. Another new thing from this past year is that that goofy little pandemic teaching book that I did right after the pandemic started, where I took all of the things I knew about online teaching and about teaching in general and alternative ways of doing things and so on that could be useful in that sudden switch that we were all called to do when the pandemic really got going in the spring of 2020, I put that all together in kind of sloppy, messy and formal way, but hopefully helpful. Well, I know it’s been helpful to a number of people because I’ve heard back from you about that. So that was originally available only as a downloadable ebook, but during this past year, it also came out in paperback because a lot of people asked for that.

Kevin Patton (00:13:51):
And so that’s been doing pretty good and here I thought it would’ve already outlived its usefulness, but well, no people keep asking for it because there are a lot of things in there that are useful going forward. It doesn’t have to be that time of sudden switching. But aren’t we kind of in that right now of, and here a lot of us thought we were going to be teaching this or that course face to face maybe finally, after all this time and now we’re being asked or we may soon be asked to suddenly switch it back to completely online or at least some hybrid version of that. So maybe another look at that pandemic teaching book is something you might want to do. And so to access that, just go to theAPprofessor.org/pandemicteaching. Again, all one word, pandemicteaching.

Kevin Patton (00:14:46):
Another thing that was kind of new this past year, it actually started right before the beginning of this last season. And that is The A&P Professor Community, which you can access by going to theAPprofessor.org/community. So that started in late 2020 and honestly it’s gone in fits and starts this whole last year. And I think that’s mostly due to the fact that I just got overwhelmed with stuff, both professional stuff and personal stuff. And these things were well, frankly, higher priority than the Community. So I’m going to come back to this Community and I’m going to talk about what I’m going to do later in this episode and we’re going to see how that’s going to move forward. Another thing that’s new this past year is that you can now follow The A&P Professor on our new LinkedIn page. So, if you go to linkedin.com/company/theAPprofessor. So once again, it’s linkedin.com/company/theAPprofessor. Go in there and that is another way to keep up with The A&P Professor podcast and website.

Kevin Patton (00:16:02):
So you just go in there, take a look around. If that’s something that you’re interested in following, then click the follow button and then it’ll start showing up in your LinkedIn feed. And you’re always welcome to follow my own personal page in LinkedIn as well and that’s easier to find in the search engine. Another thing that is new this year, actually very new like today, is that we have a new survey. Now a couple of years ago, I made available a survey from the company called Podtrac, which is a big company that does a number of different services for podcasts, such as looking at statistics. And one of the things that they do in that regard is they offer this survey that helps podcasters figure out who’s listening and what they like and what they don’t like. And that’s been useful.

Kevin Patton (00:17:00):
And I really thank those of you that have taken the time to do that survey, which really isn’t that much time but it takes some intention and some will to do it. And I appreciate that and it has been useful to me. But the more I looked at that survey and the results from that survey, the more I realized that this is written for a kind of podcast that this isn’t. It’s not a podcast that’s looking for advertisers and is interested in that end of it. Like how much money you make and things like that. So what I’m interested in is what’s your teaching experience? What’s your teaching context? And specifically about my podcast, what do you like and don’t like? What specific suggestions do you have for this podcast? Not some generic podcast that could be about any topic in the world.

Kevin Patton (00:17:55):
And so I’ve replaced that Podtrac survey with one that is customized for you. So even if you filled out the survey before, will you take just a minute? Okay, it’s going to take more than a minute. It’s going to take probably like 10 to 15 minutes, maybe depending on how in depth you get with the open ended responses that are available to you. And that will really help me figure out who each of you is at least in aggregate. And it’s anonymous, although there is an option to put your name in there if you’d like, especially if you have a question or something like that. But anyway, the new survey is available in several places in the website and in the show notes. But if you want to go directly to it, just go to theAPprofessor.org/survey. So those are some of the major things. I’ll think of some other things that we did this last year as soon as I’ve finished editing and releasing this episode. Doesn’t it always happen that way?

Kevin Patton (00:18:58):
I’ll think, oh shoot, what about this thing? I forgot to put that on my list. But in this process of debriefing it’s not going to fail if you don’t hit everything. So there’s the beginning of our debriefing of last year.

2021 Topics: Teaching & Learning

Kevin Patton (00:19:17):
One of the fun things about debriefing in general and debriefing for this podcast in particular, that is really fun for me is to go back and look at all the different topics that we covered. And when we do that, we can sort of be surprised by some things that we might have temporarily forgot about. And it’ll give us an opportunity to go back to those previous episodes and refresh ourselves with some of the details that we may have forgotten. And remember, that’s how learning works, right? You learn about something and then you leave a little space and you forget about some of it and then go back again and refresh yourself so that it really reinforces that information.

Kevin Patton (00:19:57):
So what kinds of things did we talk about related to teaching and learning this last year? Well, this isn’t an interview type of podcast, but I always love it when we get the opportunity to talk with people that have something of value to offer us as A&P faculty. And one of those people is Dr. Rebecca Pope-Ruark who came and chatted with us in episode 91. And she talked about burnout, which is an especially important topic in education these days. Somebody else who did that in episode 106 is Dr. Staci Johnson, who talked about her experiences in alternative grading in A&P courses and other biology courses. And that was related to a series of episodes on that wacky, alternative testing and grading method that I and others have used and which I’ll talk about more in just a minute.

Kevin Patton (00:20:53):
Something else looking back is that we had some Journal Club episodes with Dr. Kristsa Rompolski, which is one of the big favorites I know of you and me in this podcast. In episode 104, we looked at a paper that examined the question, should students change answers on multiple choice tests? Because that’s kind of a urban myth that once you put down your answer for a multiple choice item, never change it again because you’re going to change it to the wrong answer and this examined whether that’s really true.

Kevin Patton (00:21:30):
And that one wasn’t really part of that series on alternative testing and grading that I just mentioned, but it kind of fit right into the testing part of it, didn’t it? So yeah, there’s unintended connection that was made there. Another journal club episode we had this year was episode 93 and that was all about weight stigma and the concept of the difficult cadaver. And maybe when we’re using human remains body donors in educating future health professionals, maybe there’s a role that we play in whether those students develop or reinforce their weight stigma or whether they’re helped to overcome having that bias that really does end up harming patients in the long run. So that’s a very important episode that if you don’t remember it or you never listened to it, you might want to go back to episode 93 and listen. Because I think that’s one of those that if you’re going to listen to one episode from this last season listen to that one. And you can get to all the journal club episodes over the last couple of years by going to theAPprofessor.org/journalclub.

Kevin Patton (00:22:48):
Speaking of clubs, we have The A&P Professor Book Club and we had three selections this last year, all of which were related to that alternative testing and grading topic I just mentioned. In episode 100, I recommended the book, it’s a classic book now, about what? 15 years old, something like that, but still good. And that is What the Best College Teachers Do and that’s by Ken Bain. And then in episode 103, I recommended the book called The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined, by Salman Khan. And then in episode 106, I recommended the book Ungrading: Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and What to Do Instead) and that’s by Susan D. Blum. So all of those and previous Book Club recommendations, you can access by going to the APprofessor.org/bookclub. Some other teaching and learning topics that came up well, there’s that wacky method of alternative testing and grading that unexpectedly turned out to keep coming up this last season.

Kevin Patton (00:23:58):
I mean, I didn’t plan it that way, but once it started gaining some steam and gaining some feedback and support, I listened and I went with the flow and I answered your call and we went in that direction and I don’t think that’s quite over. I think we’re going to come back to that from time to time and I’ll talk more about why I think that’s so later in this podcast. But anyway, it all kind of started in episode 99 when my friend and colleague Jerry Anzalone called the podcast hotline with a list of questions about that alternative testing strategy that I use that I’ve mentioned in many previous episodes over the years and in various seminars that I’ve presented and so on. And to be transparent, Jerry already knew a lot about the methods I’ve used, because I’ve talked to him a number of times about the methods I’ve used, but like most folks, he wasn’t quite sure how it all fit together.

Kevin Patton (00:24:58):
He wasn’t finished listening to what I was doing. He still had some questions, especially some specific questions beyond those general principles. So he did the right thing. He called the podcast hotline at 1-833-LION-DEN with his questions so that both he and the rest of us could hear how it all fit together. In episode 99, I took each of Jerry’s questions as a starting point and discuss these topics, multiple retakes, retrieval practice and spacing. I talked about cumulative testing and interleaving. I talked about pretesting. I talked about high and low stakes testing. I talked about formative and summative tests. I talked about open book testing and I talked about online test integrity. Now I didn’t cover each of those topics in great depth. I talked about them in terms of how I do it in my courses and how those topics are applied or how they relate to my courses, because that was what he was specifically asking. Kevin, how do you do this?

Kevin Patton (00:26:12):
And that might not be the way that everyone wants to do it, probably isn’t because I’m pretty quirky, but it does give us all an idea. I mean, don’t you love to listen to how other instructors do what they do and don’t you don’t we often take that and say, “Well, it won’t work. I don’t think it’ll work exactly that way in my class, but I think I can massage that a little bit and make it work kind of like that in my class. And so I’m going to do my version of it in my course.” So that’s what these conversations are all about. Then in episode 100, I had more questions and comments in various media such as email and Twitter. And there was more discussion of my scheme of formative testing as a key strategy for learning in my A&P courses at least. For example, a question came up about whether open tests help prepare students for eventual board exams, which are not open.

Kevin Patton (00:27:10):
And I talked about student challenges of test items and I talked about test debriefing. And so yeah, there’s that debriefing again, which is what we’re doing right now. And then in episode 101, there was even more explanation of my online randomized testing scheme and I entitled episode 101, Even MORE Test Answers. And then in the episode after that episode 102, I discussed something that I was asked about that didn’t even occur to me to talk about. And that is stats on the effectiveness of my alternative online testing scheme. Wouldn’t you think that would be something that would occur to me from the very beginning? Something I should have kind of led with is the stats that show whether what I’m doing is effective or not? Well, I had them, I had first presented those stats at the world congress of anatomy associations in Kyoto way back in 2004.

Kevin Patton (00:28:12):
And I don’t know how it happened, but it just kind of slipped my mind that I did have that data to back up my claims. So in episode 102 that’s where the proof lies. If you want to see or listen to the stats, then go back to episode 102, but wait, it even kept going after that. In episode 103, I talked about the alternative testing and grading scheme I use in my pre A&P course, which I called that episode Grading for Proficiency. But it has other names such as competency based learning and probably a good half dozen or so other names. And in that discussion, I outlined some of the pitfalls of using test averaging or total points in grading, which I’ve used a lot. I’m not totally against that, but there are some pitfalls and I discussed that. And when Staci Johnson made a comment on Twitter about that episode, that led to her coming onto this podcast for that chat I just talked about, so that she could talk about her experience.

Kevin Patton (00:29:19):
And I’d just mentioned that. Another topic that preceded the one where Jerry Anzalone kicked off this thread of discussions was in episode 90, where I dealt with resistance to new teaching and learning strategies. I titled episode 90 Taking Sold steps in Teaching. Meaning, how do you deal with the blowback when you do take those bold steps, because there’s going to be blowback. Most of which comes in our own minds, in our own questioning of what we’re doing, but it comes from the outside too. And how do we deal with all of that? You know that alternate testing and grading thing wasn’t the only topic that stuck over several episodes. Another topic that did that was micro-credentials and gamification. In episode 87, I discussed the idea of micro-credentials, such as badges and certificates, which then led to a related discussion of gamification. And then in episode 88, I talked about leaderboard competition in gamification strategies when we use them in teaching and learning.

Kevin Patton (00:30:32):
Another recurring topic this season has been using slides more effectively in teaching and in presenting. In episode 89, I talked about well, what I call there’s smooth slide techniques, and that is using simple or subtle animation effects to help students focus on important elements of our story and to make the whole user experience better. And then we returned to that topic in episode 95, which I titled More Slide Tricks. And in that episode, I talked about effective teaching with slides, less text, more story, chunking slide content and using art effectively. And then right after that was episode 96, which I titled Even More Slide Tricks. And in that one, I talked about how to make slide presentations more effective, aligning preferred terminology, using title slides to engage learners, selecting the best presentation mode and telling the story. Yet another topic that popped up more than once this season was using textbooks in teaching and learning A&P.

Kevin Patton (00:31:40):
And that started in episode 94, which was titled, Do A&P Textbooks Have Too Much Content? Now the answer to that question by the way was a definitive, probably not, but you really need to listen to episode 94 to get the many nuances to that answer. And then we continued in episode 97 which was titled Six More Textbook Tricks. And in that one we talked about transparency, about the course textbook, we talked about reading and reading the textbook. We talked about honoring the textbook. We talked about the fact that instructors need to read the textbook too. And we talked about teaching students how to read their textbook and we talked about loving and learning from textbooks. And that textbook theme continued into episode 98 when I suggested that textbooks should not remain as invisible as they seem to be to both instructors and students in a lot of courses. A somewhat related topic that came up a couple of times this past season is the terminology we use in textbooks and teaching.

Kevin Patton (00:32:49):
In episode 101 I talked about my recent experience in revising my own textbooks. Taking a hard look at how we use the term normal in A&P and questioning what that means and whether it’s useful to use it at all. And then in episode 102, I talked about how I eventually started realizing how hurtful non-inclusive terms can be to our students and to their eventual patients and other clients. The example I used was the various forms of the term master, which for many invokes enslavement, whether that’s the original meaning of a particular usage or not for some listeners, that’s what gets triggered. So if you want to know where I am currently on that go back to episode 102 and listen to that segment. Some other topics in teaching and learning that we covered last season include refresher tests to get students ready for the course. What I sometimes call Test Zero.

Kevin Patton (00:33:53):
That was an episode 87. We talked about student frustration during pandemic teaching and learning, that was in episode 88. I asked, which is better for taking notes in class, a pen or a laptop? That was in episode 90. I asked the question, are we answering student questions? I talked about listening and responding to students in ways that actually help and that was in episode 92. I talked about the color of a marking pen, a topic that came up very early in this podcast so we revisited that. So the marking pen that we use for grading it might make a difference which color ink we use and that was in episode 94.

Kevin Patton (00:34:36):
And then in episode 98, I talked about something I call star power. It’s a method that we can use, it’s a very simple method to help students recognize the important concepts in the course that is while the course is going on, as they’re doing their listening and their studying and so on, there is a technique they can use during that process to collect the kinds of things that they can expect to see on the test. That study tip came in episode 98. So if you want to go back to all the 2021 episodes, I’ve assembled them all on a single page at theAPprofessor.org/2021. Now I’ll be back shortly with a brief rundown of the science updates that we talked about in last season’s episodes.

Remembering Linda Swisher

Kevin Patton (00:35:29):
Before we move on to our next segment, I want to take a moment to remember my friend, my colleague, my collaborator, and a valued member of the patent author team, Linda Swisher, who passed away in late 2021. Linda Swisher was a well known and respected nurse educator and consultant who made so many contributions to healthcare and health professions education over many decades. She frequently served at the top levels of state and national programs. I knew Linda as the author of several of our study guides and our online courses and other curricular resources. In that role, she was an awesome, supportive collaborator who always, always, always that’s three always’, went way above and beyond expectations. But mostly I remember her as a kind, blonde and also funny friend who was the sort of person and the sort of professional that I want to be someday. Linda, we will all miss you.

2021 Topics: Science Updates

Kevin Patton (00:37:00):
Besides teaching and learning topics The A&P Professor podcast also brings you updates in human science, things that we can use in our teaching. Now, a few of these may be directly applicable to our A&P course, but some of them simply give background information that helps deepen our understanding of current discoveries so that we can communicate concepts to students more effectively. And you just never know when one of these little nuggets will come in handy in a class discussion or when answering student questions or if you’re ever a contestant on Jeopardy. So in episode 103, I did a reprise of some recent anatomy discoveries that I’d already talked about over the last couple of years, just to put them all together and to do one of those little refresher debriefing kind of things. So in that episode, I talked about the fabella bone. I talked about barrier macrophages.

Kevin Patton (00:38:02):
I talked about the discovery of the interstitium. I talked about button and zipper junctions between cells. I talked about lymph node micro organs that were recently discovered. I talked about a new kind of vessel in bones that was discovered. And I talked about a new type of salivary gland that has been discovered and that is the tubarial salivary glands. In episode 102, we talked about a new discovery that we can indeed reverse the graying process in our air through a biological mechanism. At least some of us can at least a little bit. So that might be something you want to look back at. I don’t, because I kind of consider my graying process of my hair is being kind of a badge of honor that I’ve lived as long as I have. And also in episode 102, I talked about some new discoveries regarding the hippocampus acting as the storyteller of the brain. In episode 101, we talked about normal body temperature and average body temperature.

Kevin Patton (00:39:07):
That was in the context that I mentioned a moment ago of what is normal and also in the context of some new information that shows us that our average body temperature has actually been dropping over time. And why is that and what’s important about that. And then in episode 98, we talked about how Celia are involved in COVID 19. And also in episode 98, we talked about why some epithelial cells make a version of soap. And I’ll tell you the answer, it’s a defense strategy. But you can go back to episode 98 and look at the details or listen to the details. In episode 94, I talked about tunneling nanotubes sometimes called TNTs. And in the same episode I talked about what was then a new thing, like guess what, the experts have decided to start using Greek letter names for new variants that are identified of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Kevin Patton (00:40:08):
And now we’re very used to that. We had Delta dominate the news for a while and now we have Omicron dominating the news for a while. And I don’t think it’ll be long before we see the next Greek letter come up. But the decision to go in that direction for naming these variants, which is much simpler than the really cumbersome numbering system that is used by researchers, that was back in episode 94. So you can go back and look at that and listen to that. And also in episode 94, I talk about a newly discovered mechanism that kind of completes the story for us about how exactly the teeth are able to sense cold. What is that mechanism? And then in episode 92 we talked about a new discovery regarding plaques and the brain and some new things in terms of how we’re thinking about the function of those plaques.

Kevin Patton (00:41:08):
And then in episode 90, we talked about the pandemic 20, that is this tendency to gain weight during the pandemic years and you might want to go back and revisit that. And that’ll soon become the pandemic 30 and then the pandemic 40 I fear, but you just never know. But in episode 90 we talked about the pandemic 20. And then also in episode 90, we talked about how what is essentially diluting blood plasma can reverse some aging effects, at least in mice that can happen. So very interesting thing and then it would be interesting to watch how that plays out or doesn’t as time rolls on. In episode 89, we talked about background noise in the brain. Also in the same episode, we talked about how exercise triggers immune cell development in our bones. And also in episode 89, we talked about how mitochondria are organized during that process of cell division.

Kevin Patton (00:42:07):
In other words, how do we get them to sort the cells out into two roughly equal groups? Is that just random or is there something else going on there? Episode 89 gives us the proposed answer. Also in episode 89 is, how old can humans really get? What is that maximum lifespan? In episode 87, we talked about dark skin colors and how having dark skin can affect healthcare when healthcare providers aren’t trained or experienced in assessing different kinds of conditions in dark skin. If you’re only trained in light skin, then you may not recognize things in dark skin. And in conjunction that with that, we talked about the Mind the Gap project. So that was way at the beginning of last year that we did that. And so once again, if you want to look at the 2021 episodes, it’s all in one place, go to theAPprofessor.org/ 2021.

Kevin Patton (00:43:08):
And I’ll be back in a moment with my review of last year’s psychic predictions for 2021. Did any of them come to pass?

Our Sponsors

Kevin Patton (00:43:22):
It’s that time of year when I thank the sponsors of this podcast. I got to tell you I’m not a big fan of sponsor messages. Some of the podcast I listen to have a lot of them and they’re long and they’re boring and they don’t often even relate to anything that interests me. Thank you, I already have a mattress I like. I don’t need to hear yet another mattress message. But the thing is doing a podcast like this one, it’s kind of expensive. I spend a lot more than I thought I’d need to spend on this podcast. So I need that support to keep this ship afloat. And thankfully this podcast has three faithful sponsors that we all appreciate for helping out.

Kevin Patton (00:44:16):
When I put in those sponsor messages, I always try to add something new about the resources that each of them offers that can really help us as A&P faculty. By hearing from those sponsors episode after episode, it eventually sinks into our memory that, hey, AAA has a whole curated library of resources that have images and other kinds of media that we can use in our teaching. That bit of info can help you or a colleague at some critical moment. Right? You know somebody looking for more training and applying contemporary evidence based teaching and learning strategies in both anatomy and physiology, or maybe a review of the essential concepts of both anatomy and physiology? Well, you know exactly where to send them, to the master of science in Human Anatomy & Physiology. That is the HAPI program.

Kevin Patton (00:45:15):
And even if you’re already a member of HAPS, that is the Human Anatomy & Physiology Society, you might learn something about an upcoming town hall meeting, like the series starting this month about keeping our courses accessible to all students. So well, our sponsor messages are not ads. They’re statements of support from organizations I believe in strongly. And they give you helpful information even if it’s not something you can use today might be something you can use tomorrow or next month or next year. Another thing about the sponsor breaks is that they give kind of a short break between the content segments. Those little brain breaks really do help us detach from the previous segment and think about something a bit different for a brief moment, thereby sort of resetting our brains before we dive into the next segment. And those little interruptions or breaks have been shown to make learning and remembering and processing more effective. So you’re welcome.

Kevin Patton (00:46:31):
Thank you the sponsors for giving us that opportunity to take those little brain breaks. Anyway, if you get any benefit at all from this podcast, will you please consider mentioning your appreciation to our sponsors? That’ll help keep this podcast going for you and for the thousand or so other listeners. If you want to check out AAA, that is the American Association for Anatomy, just go to anatomy.org. If you want to check out the HAPI program, just go to northeastcollege.edu/hapi, that’s H-A-P-I. And if you want to check out HAPS just to theAPprofessor.org/haps, that’s H-A-P-S.

2021 Predictions Revisited

Kevin Patton (00:47:23):
Well, it’s time to go back and look at all those psychic predictions I made last year at this time. Psychic predictions? Well, in this case, if you had listened to them last year, you know that in this context, when I talk about the word psychic, that means related to the mind.

Kevin Patton (00:47:42):
So yeah, I’m using my mind to look at trends and to do a lot of listening and making predictions based on all that listening that I did. So I don’t mean some kind of paranormal gift that I have. I’m talking about just using my mind to make some educated predictions or possibilities coming up. And so well, let’s review what I talked about last year and see whether I was on the mark or not for any of them. Now to you these might seem obvious and well, of course they are obvious because we’re looking back a year ago, right? So, any of them that might have come close to hitting the mark you’re not going to be impressed with because well, we already know what the outcome is. So like, duh, yeah, of course everybody knew that, but it’s interesting that at that time, not everybody knew that, some people did, but it wasn’t a given. But no matter what, it’s still useful and fun to do this kind of exercise when we’re doing any kind of debriefing.

Kevin Patton (00:48:50):
So last year I predicted that the pandemic would continue through the next academic year. Yeah, well I got that one` right. But that was probably a no brainer even then, even though a lot of people in the media were saying otherwise, and even a lot of experts were saying otherwise. You got to kind of wonder sometimes how much of that is a hopeful message being put out there and how much is, what to actually believe is going to happen. And I at that time had suggested there might be some other virus come along. Now I wasn’t thinking in terms of the Delta or Omicron variant, but I think that still kind of fits in here. The example I gave was avian influenza virus, the H5N1 variant and that seemed to be on the horizon too at that time.

Kevin Patton (00:49:39):
And it’s still a possibility that something like that could happen. I don’t think it’s unexpected that something like that’s going to happen maybe in the next year, but I’ll do my predictions for next year in a minute. So let’s see. So at that time I was saying, we’re not really going to be doing any post pandemic teaching. We were still going to be doing pandemic teaching. And another prediction I made was what we are going to be doing is going to be the foundation of post pandemic teaching. And so I predicted that we’d be using more video resources, more audio, maybe even podcasts within our own course or the use of outside podcasts in our course. I talked about more online testing than we’ve done before, more formative testing than we’ve done. Less proctoring of online tests, more use of evidence based teaching and maybe there’d be the availability of more products to server mode teaching, but could also serve post pandemic teaching.

Kevin Patton (00:50:45):
Now I think in general, that has happened, but you can only answer for yourself whether that’s happened for you and your students in your own courses. I suspect it has, but well, you’re the one to know for sure. Another prediction I made was that over the next year and beyond I said that faculty will generally feel more confident in their ability to pivot. They’ll become more confident in their tech skills and they will be more confident in their ability to truly connect with students even in online and remote courses. And again, only you can answer that. I’ve heard a lot of feedback that suggests that that is generally true, not 100% true. I mean, there’s always more growth that we can have in any of these areas but I think in general, we’ve advanced over the last year. So again, you can answer that for yourself and see how on the mark I was with that.

Kevin Patton (00:51:44):
Another prediction I made was that A&P teachers will generally be more nimble and more resilient. So that kind of goes along with the previous prediction, and less likely to suffer when a sudden shift occurs. Now, sudden shifts are occurring once again right now. Now maybe you haven’t shifted. Maybe you’re about to shift and don’t know it yet. You haven’t got, you haven’t, you better check your email because that might be happening and you haven’t heard the news yet. So I think we’re, again at a time where we’re going to be asked to make sudden shifts, but when we do that, are we really going to be in the same place we were last year when we were asked to make sudden shifts or the year before that? I think that we probably gained in that regard and we are a little bit more nimble and we kind of know what steps to take. In other words, okay, I have to shift, what am I going to do next?

Kevin Patton (00:52:39):
What is my plan? And you’re going to kind of know how to make that plan. You’re not going to be as totally unprepared as we all were back a year or so ago. Another prediction I made was that we were going to see a rapid rise in recognizing the legitimacy of online education, online teaching and learning. And also along with that, a rapid rise in institutions expanding their offerings of online courses, programs, and degrees. And I think that has happened. I think that’s something that we still need to wait some time. I think it’s going to take more than a year to really see that as a trend. But I think the beginnings of that trend really are there as I scan over the stories and headlines coming out of education, higher education, I think that we’re seeing that sort of thing. Another prediction I made was that, well, maybe education institutions are going to go forward with a regular and ongoing practice of strategic planning for what if scenarios such as pandemics.

Kevin Patton (00:53:44):
So when they have to pivot again, and I think they’re going to need to pivot again, again and again and again, not only for pandemics, but for other kinds of challenges to our system, the idea was let’s get ready for that. Let’s be strategic in our planning. I know we have lots of things called strategic plans, but I’ve seen very few of them that are actually very strategic, that is have backups that have methods for how to deal with what if scenarios. And you know what, I haven’t really seen a lot of improvement in that area. I mean, I think we’re going to need to be hammered again and again and again and maybe we kind of are with these various surges of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but I don’t know. I’m not seeing that much strategic thinking. I think it’s still a lot of short term thinking and a lot of thinking of, okay, this is eventually going to be over and we can go back to business as usual.

Kevin Patton (00:54:48):
I mean, completely business as usual. And in any kind of forward thinking is in the form of, well, we’ll have a standing pandemic committee or something like that that is ready to go at a moment’s notice if we have another pandemic or if we have another surge in this pandemic or something like that. That’s how we’re going to prepare for the future without thinking about all those other kinds of things that can happen, where this increasing incidents of natural disasters due to global warming catches up with this campus or that campus, and all of a sudden the campus disappears. What are you going to do? All of a sudden a tornado comes rips through a campus. A friend of mine that happened to his campus a number of years ago, luckily it was in a part of the campus where there weren’t any buildings, but it could happen go through right through the middle of campus.

Kevin Patton (00:55:43):
I had a couple of tornadoes go right by my home here recently in Missouri. Some of them killed some people. I mean they’re very serious. So yeah, that’s something that I think institutions should prepare for and I think this should have been a wake up call for them to do that. And I’m thinking maybe they’re not doing enough of that. That’s easy for me to say, because I’m not in educational administration and I don’t always see everything, but it just kind of seems to me like we need to get better on that. So that one, I didn’t think I missed the mark on that one. You let me know what your experience of that is. Another prediction I made was that I thought we were going to see a lot more of the kinds of shifts of staffing that had already begun long before this pandemic. That is we’re going to see colleges and universities shift even more to relying on part-time teachers, for example.

Kevin Patton (00:56:36):
And I do think that that is happening. I’m not sure if it is really accelerating as much as I thought it would during this last year, but I think it’s still in an accelerating phase. So yeah, that one’s kind of iffy whether I’m going to give myself a credit for getting that one right or not. And then my last prediction last year was somewhat related to that. And that was that I thought we were going to see colleges and universities take some unfair advantage of the crisis and start changing policies and contractual obligations regarding working conditions and job protections and all kinds of things. And I’ve seen a little bit of that. And so I don’t know if that’s pervasive and that’s a general trend or I’m only seeing it just yeah, a little bit here, a little bit there, a little bit this other place.

Kevin Patton (00:57:28):
So again, think about your own institution or institutions that you’re aware of. Is that advantage being taken to make some longstanding changes that you would not have otherwise agreed to and those changes were made in the name of this pandemic crisis? Okay. So that’s what we did last year. I don’t think it was too bad. And I think I was kind of on the right track, even though some things didn’t really quite pan out the way I thought they’d pan out, but those were last year’s predictions. We’ll get to this year’s predictions in a couple of minutes.

Look Forward: New Habits

Kevin Patton (00:58:06):
I look at that tradition of new year resolutions more as an opportunity to thoughtfully begin working on a new habit. I’ve learned that a new habit is tough to start. I have to schedule it and I have to stick to it.

Kevin Patton (00:58:24):
After time, sometimes a lot of time it eventually becomes so ingrained that I feel that something is not quite right if I don’t do that habitual thing that I’ve been habitually doing. In the past, I’ve developed a habit of starting each day with a commitment to have a growth mindset for myself, for my students and my colleagues. Another one is a daily commitment to compassion. And I got to be honest when I listen or read the news, that’s a tough one to maintain, but I’m keeping on keeping on and doing my best. For a resolution or a new habit the experts say that picking just one is the best strategy. So I’m going to do that even though I had a couple more on my short list. And what is that one that made the cut? I’m going to go back to The A&P Professor Community and start some better habits for making it work in a better way.

Kevin Patton (00:59:33):
And you can join me there by going to theAPprofessor.org/community. Now I’ve taken some more courses and workshops on how to manage online communities and found out that that’s the trick, good habits and habits that are habits, that is consistent behaviors. Now, something I’d like you to think about for the new year is helping me out a bit with this podcast. I’ve got a lot on my plate right now and I can really use the kind of help you’ve seen others give me. For example, Jerry Anzalone called in with questions about alternative testing and grading that turned into a whole series of episodes. Gilbert Pitts offered a follow up question, which then became a topic of yes, a new episode. And then Staci Johnson followed up on that by coming on the podcast to share her experiences with alternative grading. And Kristsa Rompolski, has put in a lot of time and effort each year wrangling the journal club episodes.

Kevin Patton (01:00:49):
My Twitter buddies, Wendy Riggs, Ann Raddant, Amanda Meyer and a whole bunch of others, comment and retweet and otherwise support the mission of this podcast, which is to promote personal and professional growth and mutual support in the A&P teaching community. You have things to contribute too. I know you do. Maybe it’s something you want to come on an episode and discuss. Maybe it’s something you want to call in or write in to ask about or challenge us with, or just share with us. Maybe it’s a recording of your take on a book that you recommend for The A&P Professor Book Club. Or maybe you want to help work on the back end of things, doing some writing or posting or interviewing or graphics or whatever. Or maybe you’d be willing to share this podcast with your peers. This podcast is about you and I’d love it if you’d join me in this very satisfying work. When we come back, I’ll give you my psychic predictions for 2022.

Look Forward: 2022 Predictions

Kevin Patton (01:02:04):
Well, earlier in this episode, we went through the psychic predictions that I made last year, that is for 2021. Now I have a set of psychic predictions for 2022. And remember when I use the word psychic in this context, I’m not talking about magical paranormal predictions, I’m talking about using my mind. And that is looking to see what other people are saying and analyzing that and putting it together and interpreting that from my own experience. And I’ve been around as long as a tree in the world of teaching A&P and I’ve seen a lot of changes over the years. Some of them slow, some of them rapid. So I think that gives me some insights too in terms of using my mind to analyze what’s going on. So what are my predictions for 2022? I think that these pandemic teaching issues are going to continue.

Kevin Patton (01:02:59):
I think the pandemic is going to continue. I mean, it’s obvious that it is. I mean, that’s not something I’m coming up with. All the experts who study the history of pandemics tell us that this isn’t something that’s going to go away anytime soon. It’s going to change and we’re not sure exactly how it’s going to change, but it’s going to be with us. And because it’s going to be with us, it’s probably going to affect the way we teach and what we teach, how we teach, all that stuff. So yeah, we can expect more of the same. And I think that it’s not unexpected to see yet another variant or two or more. And I don’t think it’s unexpected to see maybe a whole new pandemic of a different kind of infectious agent, like maybe some type of flu or maybe it’s Ebola, or maybe who knows. I mean, it can be a lot of things and clearly we’re not ready to stop that early in its track in all cases.

Kevin Patton (01:03:59):
I mean, we’ve proven that the world is not capable of doing that yet. I know that we’ve learned some things, but have we learned it well enough? Or even if we have learned it, have we prepared well enough for those early stages of a pandemic or an epidemic in a local area? I don’t think so. So we might see some other kind of pandemic or two or more. Now another thing is that I think science denial is going to be even bigger issue in how we manage public health in colleges and universities. We, as a society, whether it’s in the United States where I live and work or in whatever country that you happen to be in or looking at the worldwide story, we can see science denial is just a bigger problem now as it ever was. Maybe even bigger, maybe it’s getting worse, I don’t know. But that’s going to be something that we’re going to have to deal with in 2022, science denial.

Kevin Patton (01:04:59):
And we’re in a position where the rubber meets the road, we are dealing with students and teaching them what science is at least as far as human science goes. What it is, how it works and how it can be used and whether it should be used for the benefit of humankind, or should it be used only for individual benefit. So those are questions that are out there and that we are going to need to deal with in our classroom. And so paying attention to that and getting the information and training and giving the thought to those sorts of things to prepare us for those kinds of conversations with our students is important. And what is our learning outcome as far as that goes? Do we have a learning outcome listed in our syllabus that addresses how we understand science and how we use science and how we interpret science? That might be worth asking in 2022.

Kevin Patton (01:05:59):
And I think we’re going to be seeing some more of that. I hope we see more of that because I think that science denial is going to remain with us this year and for probably years to come, probably never completely go away obviously, but it’s going to be a big deal like it has been. How we grade assignments. This is getting back to that alternative testing and grading thing that came up a lot in our debrief of last year. I think that going forward now that the A&P teaching community is becoming more aware of alternative grading and alternative testing. And some of that has to do with the various efforts that are being made to get the word out. But a lot of it has also to do with the pandemic teaching situation that we found ourselves in the past couple of years where we’re opening ourselves up now more to alternatives than we ever did before.

Kevin Patton (01:06:51):
And so I think those alternate methods of testing and grading are going to expand more rapidly in 2022 than they have in the past. So we’ll see if that really happens. Another thing that I think that’s going to expand, or maybe I should say continue expanding rapidly is that diversity, equity and inclusion is going to become even more of a focus in A&P teaching and learning. A lot of organizations are really helping us move in that direction. They’re making us more aware, even organizations outside of A&P are doing that, and they’re having effects in a indirect way for us. For example, I happen to be president of the Textbook and Academic Authors Association. And I’ve been very involved in a initiative that has been ongoing for about a year in that organization to make sure the textbook authors in all disciplines, but including anatomy and physiology are looking at these issues of diversity, equity and inclusion and seeing how we can improve our textbooks and other educational resources so that we can support what we need to support so that all students are included.

Kevin Patton (01:08:12):
And by extension in the healthcare professions, as we know that whatever we do to support and increase diversity, equity and inclusion in our courses and in our discipline, that’s going to have a residual effect or a resulting effect in how our students go on to interact with their patients and their colleagues. So it’s way bigger than just A&P and it’s way bigger than just healthcare professions or other professions related to A&P. It also is going to affect those patients or clients, and when those students get out there. And I think that we’re going to see a lot more of that this year than we have the last couple years, which in turn was a lot more, way, way more than we saw in previous years before that. So I’m hopeful that that’s going to happen and I think it will. Another prediction I have is that we may see the beginning of our rapid upheaval among faculty caused by a perfect storm as all of these factors crescendo in overlapping waves, maybe even tsunamis.

Kevin Patton (01:09:25):
And what are those factors? They are the overwork and burnout among faculty and students, which is getting worse and worse. It’s not getting better. It’s getting worse generally speaking. I hope for you, it’s getting better, but I think generally speaking it’s getting worse. Another factor in this perfect storm is that top down style of governance that results from elimination of faculty voices, and a general admiration for authoritarian governance that we now see in our broader society. I mean, everything’s interconnected. So if our society is really starting to admire an authoritarian way of governing, then how is that not going to affect the way we do governance in institutions in higher education? Now that said, I think we’ll also see more than the usual political interference in education, including, but not limited to legislative and regulatory overstepping into areas of academic freedom. I think we’re going to see more demonization of academics and academia. Historically that usually accompanies a society’s increasing acceptance of authoritarianism.

Kevin Patton (01:10:46):
So this isn’t some magical paranormal premonition, it’s history. It’s just the way things tend to go in a social climate like this. Luckily for me, I have my circus skills to fall back on if I get kicked out of professoring. Another thing is I see an acceleration of the loss of full-time positions and continued movement toward part-time, contingent and temporary faculty positions. I think that’s going to get far worse, far more rapidly than it has been. I think there’s going to be a deepening of the downward spiral of the real cost of living compared to actual faculty compensation, such as salary and benefits. I think we’re going to see an acceleration of changes in the world of textbooks and related resources. We’ve been going digital for a while. I think that’s going to rapidly increase because I think that a lot of publishers, I think a lot of educators, I think a lot of institutions have jumped on that wagon.

Kevin Patton (01:12:02):
I think they have, during the pandemic over these last couple of years, they’ve made more of a commitment to digital than they ever saw themselves making before. So I think we’re going to see a rapid increase in the digitization of learning materials and that includes textbooks and all these other resources that we use. I think we’re going to see more models of using subscriptions and big giant platforms where students can choose from a variety of different learning materials. We’ve already seen the beginning of it. I think it’s going to grow over the next year. Because of all that stuff, I think we’re going to see a lot more blurring of lines between textbooks, homework platforms, learning management systems. I think it’s getting more and more into where it’s going to be in all one interconnected digital thing. And we’re not necessarily going to be seeing a textbook as the main resource.

Kevin Patton (01:13:02):
We’re going to see a textbook as this digital thing that lives within this bigger digital thing and that’s how we do things. At least I think we’re going to be making movement in that direction over the next year more movement than we have been. Another thing I think I see happening over the next year is, and maybe it’s going to counterbalance all of these other big changes I’ve been talking about, and that is increased networking activity between you and me and all of us. That is in academia in general, but I’m focusing on the A&P teaching community. Those of us who are faculty that teach anatomy and physiology I think that we’re going to see more networking than ever. Now for decades we’ve had things like HAPS in AAA and other organizations in efforts to facilitate network among A&P faculty. And I see all of those organizations cranking it up a notch or two over this next year.

Kevin Patton (01:14:06):
I think they have been already, especially during these pandemic times, but I think that’s going to get cranked up even further. I think each of these organizations and programs have sort of felt their way around a little bit over the last couple years to see what works and what doesn’t work so good and what can be fixed and what other opportunities are there. And we’re going to see that really ramp up over the next year. And it’s not just what the organizations are doing. I think that there’s just going to be an internal organic rise of mutual support of faculty. And I’m talking about not only faculty within institutions and those of us that work with other A&P faculty within an institution, which I’ve done for decades, you know that that isn’t always perfect. I mean, a lot of times we, for whatever reason, usually unintended, we sort of become isolated from each other and we don’t network as much as we could be and probably should be networking so that we can mutually support one another, not just professionally, but personally as well.

Kevin Patton (01:15:13):
So we can do that in our own institutions but now, especially because of pandemic teaching and all of these new tech skills that we have, it’s even easier now for us to network directly with peers in other parts of our continent that we live on and other parts of the world we live in and make those connections more easily and organically, not necessarily under the auspices of an organization. That might have lit a fire or triggered something, but maybe we found each other in some other way, including things like social media and so on. I mean, there are a lot of downsides to being involved in social media, but there are some upsides too and that could be one of them. I think, along those lines, I think we’re going to see a lot more small groups developing. Where some small group of maybe a few, maybe only two, maybe just a pair of peers, whether they’re in the same institution or not, we’re going to see small groups like that, pairs or other small groups that are going to gel and they’re going to form their own network.

Kevin Patton (01:16:23):
Well, those are a few thoughts I have about what’s coming up in the teaching community, especially in A&P over the next year, 2022. And maybe you agreed with everything. Maybe you don’t see any of that as particularly insightful, or maybe you disagree with some or all of it, or maybe you have a different spin on some of what I said. So why don’t you share that on the podcast hotline or writing to us, or find us on social media and let’s continue that conversation. And then we’ll come back next year when we do our debriefing and see how we did.

Staying Connected

Kevin Patton (01:17:05):
I don’t usually take the time to list credits in each episode, but this episode is a good place to do that. Frankly, I do most of the behind the scenes stuff myself, but there are a few others who help out. My favorite daughter, Aileen, is the announcer that you hear at the beginning and end of each episode. Andres Rodriguez at Andros Guitar is the talented musician who composed and recorded the original theme music for this podcast. Liberated Syndication at libsyn.com hosts and distributes this podcast. That distribution is supported by the HAPI program at Northeast College of Health Sciences. Rev.com does the transcription and timings for each episode and that’s supported by the American Association for Anatomy.

Kevin Patton (01:18:03):
Ninja, the tuxedo cat, makes occasional adjustments to my microphone and Cooper, the wonder dog guards against intruders. If you don’t see links to the things I’ve discussed in this episode in your podcast player, just go to the show notes at the episode page at theAPprofessor.org/107, where you’ll also find a transcript and captioned audiogram version of this episode. And while you’re there, you can claim your digital credential for listening to this episode. And you’re always encouraged to call in with your questions, comments and ideas at the podcast hotline, that’s 1-833-LION-DEN or 1-833-546-6336. Or send a recording or a written message to podcast@theAPprofessor.org. I’ll see you down the road.

Aileen (01:19:08):
The A&P Professor is hosted by Dr. Kevin Patton, an award-winning professor and textbook author in human anatomy and physiology.

Kevin Patton (01:19:21):
For optimum performance and safety, please read the instructions carefully.

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Last updated: August 27, 2023 at 14:41 pm

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