Human anatomy and physiology classes for pre-nursing students at Gordon State College are taught using the body systems approach, focusing on one organ system in each learning unit. The body systems approach does not always generate a deeper understanding of the interdependence of organ systems. To address this issue we developed an analogy-based lab activity consisting of four modules (Module 1, cranial bone markings; Module 2, cranial nerves; Module 3, facial and neck muscles; and Module 4, inter-relationships that produce common activities, such as smiling, frowning, chewing, olfaction, vision, eyeball movements, gustation, etc.). Unlike traditional lab exercises that follow the body systems approach, this set of lab activities can emphasize the specific interactions between body systems for common body functions, such as smiling. This linking method utilizes a number of the hands-on lab activities featuring text, diagrams, and models. Assessment of these activities demonstrates that students can effectively learn the relationships between different organ systems by using a series of lab activities that emphasize creativity and fun.

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