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The A&P Professor Podcast
TAPP Radio

Content updates and teaching advice for teachers of human anatomy & physiology (A&P) from professor, author, and mentor Kevin Patton. 

Have a question, comment, or an idea for an episode you'd like to hear—or in which you would like to participate or help plan? Contact host Kevin Patton. Or call the podcast hotline at 1-833-LION-DEN (1-833-546-6336).

For more details on each episode—including transcripts—please visit The A&P Professor website.

Jul 23, 2018

Online courses continue to have a notoriously low retention rate and success rate compared to traditional courses. In this second of three episodes, Kevin continues the conversation with ways to literally make the course more face-to-face, plus using faces, voices, and scheduled announcements to promote connections.

  • Syllabuses? Syllabi? Which is correct? (3 min)
  • Continuing the conversation (1 min)
  • Featured: 49 MORE Tricks for Retention & Success in Online Courses (22 min)
  • Next episode is part 3 of 3 (1 min)


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(0:44) Which is correct: syllabuses or syllabi? The answer may surprise you! Nevertheless, now's a good time to think about tweaking your course documents for the fall semester. I'll cover that on a future episode, so I need you to send your contributions now!



(4:02) It's too long for one episode, so Kevin will cover the featured topic in three episodes: 21 (the previous episode), 22 (this episode), and 23 (the next episode).

If you're not teaching online now, you will be someday! Most of these tips apply to face-to-face courses, anyway.

In  the previous episode, Kevin suggested:

  • It's all about connections.
  • Cultivate a friendly, informal, and supportive "online teaching persona"
  • Express empathy, don't just have empathy.
  • Use customer-service skills when communicating with students
  • Use our own pain points and frustrations to tap into how our students might feel


 (8:10) Online courses are notorious for high dropout rates and high failure rates, compared to traditional face-to-face classes. Kevin continues to share a bunch (perhaps not exactly 49) strategies he has found to work in creating and nurturing the kinds of connections that help retain students and support their success in the course.

This episode focuses on adding faces to an online course (sort of like in a face-to-face course), plus how to use scheduled video, audio, and text announcements to stay connected with students.

"A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow."
Patton's Law (Gen. George S. Patton)




(30:23) The next episode continues the conversation about improving engagement in online courses.


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