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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.

Oct 19, 2021

Can we create a course that ensures a student is proficient in all concept groups and not just in some? Where everyone who passes is at a B+ level of proficiency (or better)? In this episode, host Kevin Patton describes his experiment with what he calls proficiency grading. And we have new and appropriately controversial selection for The A&P Professor Book Club: The One World School House by Salman Khan.

00:00 | Introduction

00:56 | Book Club: The One World School House

13:30 | Sponsored by AAA

14:20 | Does Averaging Grades Measure Proficiency?

21:35| Sponsored by HAPI

22:20 | Importance of Foundation Concepts

29:46| Sponsored by HAPS

30:26 | Example of Proficiency Testing

38:47 | Staying Connected


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It is the connections among concepts—or the lack of connections—that separate the students who memorize a formula for an exam only to forget it the next month and the students who internalize the concepts and are able to apply them when they need them a decade later. (Salmon Khan)


Book Club: The One World School House

12.5 minutes

A new entry in The A&P Professor Book Club, this book by Salman Khan, developer of  Khan Academy, has been very influential for Kevin. Listen to some impressions of The One World School House: Education Reimagined in this segment, then read additional notes in The A&P Professor Book Club review.

Book Club for Anatomy & Physiology Professors

★ The One World School House book club description:

★ Bookstore description:


Sponsored by AAA

0.5 minutes

A searchable transcript for this episode, as well as the captioned audiogram of this episode, are sponsored by the American Association for Anatomy (AAA) at

Searchable transcript

Captioned audiogram 

Don't forget—HAPS members get a deep discount on AAA membership!

AAA logo


Does Averaging Grades Measure Proficiency?

7 minutes

When we average our assignments and tests, or total their points, to arrive at a course grade, are we potentially glossing over deficits in learning? In this segment explores the idea that students may be incompetent in one or more groups of concepts and still get a B in our course. Might it be better to require a minimum score on all tests?

Quizzed About Tests | FAQs About Patton Test Strategies | TAPP 99

More Quizzing About Kevin’s Wacky Testing Scheme | Book Club | TAPP 100

Even MORE Test Answers | Normal Body Temperature? | TAPP 101

Online Testing Effectiveness Data | Turning My Gray Hair Brown | TAPP 102


Sponsored by HAPI Online Graduate Program

0.5 minute

The Master of Science in Human Anatomy & Physiology Instruction—the MS-HAPI—is a graduate program for A&P teachers, especially for those who already have a graduate/professional degree. A combination of science courses (enough to qualify you to teach at the college level) and courses in contemporary instructional practice, this program helps you be your best in both on-campus and remote teaching. Kevin Patton is a faculty member in this program at Northeast College of Health Sciences. Check it out!

Logo of Northeast College of Health Sciences, Human Anatomy & Physiology Instruction


Importance of Foundational Concepts

7.5 minutes

If a student performs under par on early course modules that require understanding foundational concepts, how can they be expected to succeed in later modules that require that foundational knowledge? Maybe that's not the best approach.


Sponsored by HAPS

0.5 minute

The Human Anatomy & Physiology Society (HAPS) is a sponsor of this podcast.  You can help appreciate their support by clicking the link below and checking out the many resources and benefits found there. Watch for virtual town hall meetings and upcoming regional meetings!

Anatomy & Physiology Society

HAPS logo


Example of Proficiency Grading

8.5 minutes

Here, Kevin shares some experience from his Pre-A&P course—which uses proficiency grading. Each student must pass a module test with a B+ or better (85% score) before the next module is unlocked, eventually unlocking the final exam. All topics in the course must have a B+ score before students can pass this pass/fail course.

NOTE: The terms proficiency grading and mastery grading and related terms can each mean different things in different contexts. For the purpose of this episode, grading for proficiency means grading in a way that ensures that all essential objectives of a course are met at an acceptable level to pass that course. In other words, it's not possible to be deficient in any of the essential learning outcomes and still pass the course.

Success Supplements (recorded video seminar that discusses how Kevin's Pre-A&P course was developed)

★ Pre-A&P Foundations in Science (Kevin's course syllabus)


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★ Transcript and captions for this episode are supported by the American Association for Anatomy |

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