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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 18, 2023

In episode 140, we introduce the development of the pre-A&P course and the A&P1 Supplement course. These courses address the challenges faced by A&P students and improve their readiness and comprehension.  In this first of two episodes, we focus on the pre-A&P course. It focuses on filling subject knowledge gaps with 10 modules and cumulative tests. Student surveys and studies show its effectiveness in achieving higher grades in the A&P 1 course. Implementing these nontraditional courses requires collaboration and support from advisors and faculty members. Together, we aim to bridge the gap in subject preparation and learning skills for student success.

  • 0:00:00 | Introduction
  • 0:00:49 | Pre-A&P
  • 0:22:37 | Course Design
  • 0:39:51 | More About Module Tests
  • 0:52:38 | Other Course Features
  • 1:09:51 | Wrapping Up
  • 1:21:10 | Staying Connected


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One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation. (Arthur Ashe)



21.5 minutes

We delve into the reasons behind developing the Pre-A&P and A&P 1 Supplement courses. We identify two major challenges faced by incoming A&P students: lack of subject preparation and insufficient learning skills. To combat these obstacles, the Pre-A&P course was created as a self-paced online refresher. It covers fundamental science topics like cell biology, metabolism, genetics, and body organization—thus helping students fill knowledge gaps. The A&P1 Supplement course, focused on developing more effective learning skills, will be the subject of the next episode.

★ Pre-A&P: Foundations in Science (online course syllabus for Kevin's BIO 095 course)

★ Pre-A&P course description (from the college website)

★ The Prerequisite Problem | Wi-Fi Effects | Transplant Genomes | Episode 61

★ Success Supplements (an on-demand seminar summarizing these two courses)

Please rate & review The A&P Professor—it helps others decide whether to give us a try! 😁


Pre-A&P: A Refresher for Student Success in Anatomy & Physiology | TAPP 140 

Course Design

17 minutes

In this segment, Kevin discusses the 10 modules of his Pre-A&P course, which cover essential concepts for success in anatomy and physiology. The modules include foundational topics such as science basics, introductory and biological chemistry, cell structure and function, cell transport, metabolism, protein synthesis, genetics, tissues, and the human body. Students take cumulative tests for each module and must score 85% or higher to unlock the next module. Kevin emphasizes the importance of reviewing and retesting to reinforce learning and overcome challenges.

★ Pre-A&P Modules (Kevin's course module list)

★ Cumulative Testing Makes Learning Last | Episode 4

★ Pre-Testing for a Powerful Learning Boost | Episode 3

★ Pre-A&P Course Materials (Kevin's list of suggested textbooks & videos for students)

★ Test Item Analysis (a strategy and a tool to help students analyze their tests to find out exactly what went wrong)

★ Pre-A&P Success Pathway (an outline of the process from the BIO 095 syllabus)


More About Module Tests

12.5 minutes

This segment discusses the nature of module tests in the Pre-A&P course, explaining that they can be both formative and summative depending on students' progress. Kevin emphasizes that the tests serve as retrieval practice, despite some controversy around the term. The tests are highly randomized to prevent cheating, and immediate feedback is provided through automatic scoring. The tests are untimed, promoting equity and accommodating students with various needs and circumstances.

★ Spaced Retrieval Practice | Episode 1

★ Revisiting Retrieval Practice | Episode 68

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

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

★ Testing As a Teaching Strategy | Episode 2

★ Testing as Teaching (on-demand seminar)

★ Dancing Organelles, AI Resources, Distracting Animations, Timed Tests & Micro-credentials | TAPP 138

★ Retrieval practice is not a test (so stop calling it that) (um, okay, whatever)


Other Course Features

17 minutes

This segment summarizes other course features, which include student understanding quizzes to ensure comprehension of key course aspects, badges as motivators and credentials, and supportive announcements to remind and guide students throughout the self-paced course.

★ Our Teaching Persona in Anatomy & Physiology Class | TAPP 137

★ About Universal Design for Learning (UDL is mentioned in this segment)

★ Quality Matters (QM is mentioned in this segment)

★ BIO 095 Student Understanding (the 9 items that students must verify that they understand)

★ Promoting Academic Integrity in Our Course | Episode 25

★ Modeling Professional Integrity | Episode 26

★ The Cheater! Academic Integrity in Remote Learning | TAPP 81

★ Academic Integrity (Kevin's advice and tips)

★ BIO 095 (Kevin's video orientation for Pre-A&P)

★ Micro-Credentials & Gamification in the A&P Course | Brown & Black Skin | Refresher Tests | TAPP 87

★  Earning Badges in BIO 095 (from Kevin's syllabus)

★   Pre-A&P Badges (page outline how badges work and listing details of each badge)

★ Mid-Semester Check-Ins Keep Your A&P Course on Track | Episode 38

★ Connecting in The Distance Course Special | Episode 50 (the value of scheduled, supportive announcements is discussed)


Wrapping Up

11.5 minutes

This segment discusses the effectiveness of the Pre-A&P course in filling in the gaps and providing students with the confidence they need for success in A&P. Student surveys indicate high satisfaction and recommendation rates. A study showed that students who took the Pre-A&P course performed better in their A&P course. While there are challenges and hurdles to overcome in implementing such a course, it serves as a valuable bridge between prerequisites and rigorous college courses.

⚠ CORRECTION: It’s actually a .75 (or 3/4 of a letter grade) bump for A&P 1 students who took the pre-A&P course—not half a letter grade as stated in the audio.

★ Taking Bold Steps in Teaching | Notetaking | Science Updates | TAPP 90

★ Too Many Students Placed in Remedial Courses? Studies Say Yes (one of many opinions against noncredit developmental courses)

★Students: Just Say No to Remedial Classes (oy; another one)



Production: Aileen Park (announcer),  Andrés Rodriguez (theme composer,  recording artist), team (transcription), Karen Turner (Executive Editor), Kevin Patton (writer, editor, producer, host).

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