Talk:The Anatomy and Physiology of Animals

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Thread titleRepliesLast modified
In a nutshell - Scope and first things1216:34, 27 May 2008
Summary of discussion - for scoping and plan516:25, 27 May 2008
Thoughts about images ...419:17, 17 May 2008
Design meeting 7 may 08218:28, 11 May 2008

In a nutshell - Scope and first things

Edited by 2 users.
Last edit: 20:14, 11 May 2008

1. Leave the wikibook alone and where it is…Ruth can update that yearly or whenever it suits her to do that.

2. Create a mirror copy of the text in wikiEd - so we have a ‘static version’ in wikibooks and a ‘dynamic’, activity focused version in wikiEd.

I feel we need to have as little content as possible in wikiEd and focus on the activities which support the content in the book. That way the book can be stripped right back to content only and one or two websites per chapter which are easily updated from wikied.
COL would not be able to support our level of investment in this project under this scenario. I need a clear commitment from Ruth that the content of the text can be released on WE under a CC-BY license. --Wayne Mackintosh 07:14, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
Or else we create an interactive book on wikied which eventually converts to pdf for uploading to and hard copy publication and perhaps CD publication and Ruth does away with the wikibook.
A CC-BY license would allow users to convert the text into any format, including CD publication and publications. However, COL does not undertake any responsibility for funding these conversions. --Wayne Mackintosh 07:14, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
Otherwise updating the wikibook and keeping it aligned with wikied version is going to become a nightmare. --bron 05:49, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
COL does not assume any responsibility for updating the version on Wikibooks. Our interest is in adding value to the pedagogy of the resource as an interactive text drawing on our experiences of design and development of asynchronous learning. As the content would be available under a CC-BY license, it can be used in multiple contexts. COL would be comfortable to release its value additions to the text under a GFDL license, which means you are free to port the text to Wikibooks. --Wayne Mackintosh 07:14, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

3. Build a set of activities in WikiEd that engage learners with each chapter of the text (as per points in summary).

4. Select parts of the chapters of the text to develop/embellish further – graphics, animation etc.

Development priority of these would be based on
alignment with new activities
where learning problems are mostly experienced

Begin with

Two chapters (used early in current course):

  • Cells: generic to both human and animal A and P students
  • Skin: generic to a point, but also includes content specific to animals so gives us and opportunity to design and develop for both groups

Both are taught reasonably early on in the current course.

Cells and Skin [or possibly just skin??] could therefore become representative samples for design and development – will let us make decisions about further development --Fiona 23:35, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

The scope looks good Fee. The pros for Cells are:

  • plenty of material we can draw on.
  • it is a very early module.
  • It will help keep the starting design as simple as possible. --bron 05:49, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
FSpence (talk)12:35, 9 May 2008
Edited by another user.
Last edit: 18:39, 11 May 2008


  • Should we try to (informally) collect info from Ruth’s students? …eg ‘focus group’ type of questions – would be useful when we come to actually designing activities … …analysis of what it is that students get excited about or need to talk about – like what we saw on the forums on Monday.
  • Ruth…the other day you mentioned some of the types of activities you get your students to do in class and on block courses:
look at
comment on

any more??

A good idea Fee though my preference would be for a usability approach as we trial some prototype solutions - "they don't know what they don't know" - unless we show them some options. I am happy to draw up a plan to do this. My professional approach would be to develop a formal evaluation plan, which includes some overarching questions on which we base our decisions, as well as a mixed methods evaluation design. This is what I teach so am happy to draw something up if we agree to go down this path.--bron 05:39, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

FSpence (talk)12:43, 9 May 2008

Yes, some kind of survey or evaluation is essential. I do not really know how all types of learners respond to the material. I see and interact with full time students in tutorial class and generally get a sense that they like what I do with them. I do not see those that fail to turn up to the class and all those distance learners. I do sometimes get a bit of a sense of their reactions from the discussion boards but what about those that the material just does not hit the spot with and who say nothing. I would love to know how we can make it more relevant, easier to engage with, more exciting for these students.

RLawson (talk)19:25, 17 May 2008

Hey Bronwyn, that'd be brilliant. Given that there are students out there who have used the resources, done the classes, I definitely think we need to find out what we can from them - good for this project, good for Ruth, by the sounds of it. In terms of the LD process, my thoughts were toward some kind of pre-analysis (learner, materials, etc), using what we had at our fingertips, and not having to make too much of a meal of it. So, it would be hugely useful if you could cast your evaluative magic and help bring some of these things to light...whenever you get the opportunity.

FSpence (talk)16:07, 27 May 2008

If you want to run a survey instrument for demographic or "objective-item" type questions -- COL has a survey monkey account and we can run an online survey if this is useful.

See for example the WE newbie survey:

If you want to go this route -- let us have the questions and we'll get the survey loaded.

That said, I've found that focus groups produce more valuable data though.

Mackiwg (talk)16:16, 27 May 2008

Hi Fee and Otago Poly friends.

I like the approach of developing a respresenative sample to start with. This will give us the flexibility to fine tune the design -- but will also provide us with a better sense of the scope in terms of what we can realistically achieve. I'm pretty sure that we're going to generate a couple of "nice-to-have" bullets for our list and that's great.

Regarding the nice-to-haves we could implement one or two examples of how this might unfold for the future as a dynamic and evolving wiki project.

My sense (although recognizing that I was not at the meeting) is to select one chapter to start with. Ruth -- do you have a recommendation?

Cells or Skin?

Great project -- can't wait to see the results of our efforts

Mackiwg (talk)14:32, 9 May 2008

Hmm, the mirror idea.. I think I agree with Bron about the problem with that, and I thought we decided that wasn't the best way to approach this.. Way down in the summary of the discussion, Wayne responds with a note relating to the division between human and animal anatomy. In the meeting there seemed to be some feeling of concern that attempting to do this would scope creep the project. I think we saw that it would not if we approached it right.

From memory, the detail of the discussion on how to approach it was something like this:

Otago would look into possible funding for Ruth to begin developing a basic human anatomy text in wikibooks, usingthe simple and accessible style of the animals text and sharing material from the advanced human text, the relevant animal sections, and the various human texts that Ruth currently uses in her Blackboard courses. Hopefully, with these three areas of reusable content already available this development would not take too much effort - just editorial work really, which Ruth is quite skilled at. (If COL saw value in this development then support would ensure it happened quickly).

At the same time, we use Wikieducator to develop "activity sheets" that are useful for people to use to engage with either the human and/or the animal texts on wikibooks. To do this we would identify 2 chapters in the existing animal text that are generic enough so as to develop activities that are appropriate for both texts. The activity sheets developed for these initial chapters would scope out the workflow and what a "workbook" on wikieducator might look like.

Leighblackall (talk)19:31, 11 May 2008

Hi Leigh -- from a pedagogical perspective, I would prefer to develop a seamless and integrated exemplar that can be structured and produced for multiple reuse contexts building on the features enabled by the collections editor now possible with the wiki ==> pdf generator.

From COL's perspective -- in alignment with our strategic development plan for WE and scarce resources for eLearning work -- I'm not keen to single out the activity sheets as a development project.

In the spirit of openness and transparency -- perhaps the animal A & P project is not the best fit to achieve our collective objectives -- and that's fine by me. The strength of the open source model is that we self organize finding the best fit and eco-system to move our collective objectives forward.


Mackiwg (talk)11:16, 12 May 2008

Hey, can you rephrase all that in English a simple biologist can understand?

RLawson (talk)23:37, 25 May 2008

As you say, plenty of material to draw on for cells. In fact that is probably the main problem. there is too much material to draw on and we have to distill out the points that are most relevant to vet nurses and present them in the clearest way. I have a fairy good feel for what vet nurses have to know re cell biology but when adapting the material for human biology the emphasis seems to be different. For instance I have had issue with how little genetics vet nurses are exposed to while in bioscience for nursing there is much more material on DNA structure, cell division etc.

RLawson (talk)18:46, 17 May 2008

Fair enough Ruth --

I'm not querying the content integrity of the selection of diagrams -- but rather the formats in which diagrams are created and stored. Sourcing existing svg graphics means that we can save time, energy and money - moreover, they can easily be edited for alternative scenarios.

Like I said -- I have no expertise in your content area - just trying to give a few tips on how to improve the productivity of your content development processes in a contemporary environment.

Cheers Wayne

Mackiwg (talk)18:52, 17 May 2008

Hey, sorry I see what you are getting at. Yes, anything that saves time, energy and money and is more flexible suits me.

RLawson (talk)19:12, 17 May 2008

So, in light of the discussion, it's looking like the decision is to... focus our initial development(our representative sample)on the Cells chapter, for animal A and P. Right???--Fiona 03:33, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

FSpence (talk)16:33, 27 May 2008

Summary of discussion - for scoping and plan

Edited by another user.
Last edit: 14:53, 9 May 2008

The overall project aim is to enable the existing textbook, self-tests and worksheets to be used in many contexts by different audiences.

  • Development is to focus on ways to guide learners, clearly and simply, through the chapters of the existing text. Eventually the desire is to create a teaching and learning ‘package’ (or several small ones) that is visually rich (graphics, animations, video), is fun (quizzes, crosswords…), and light (but not childish).
  • The target audience guiding design would be the distance students who currently undertake the course - Typically these people are … animal lovers, people who have some association with animals , for example through vet nursing, farming, zoology, police-dog handling etc, majority are women, mostly mature.
  • As a guide to ‘how big’ to make learning chunks (notional learning hours) current teaching and learning is based on one semester full-time, or one year part-time.
  • The main learning challenge we need to address is that many of the people who use the text are being exposed to anatomy and physiology terminology for the first time and find it challenging
  • The first part of the current course is the most difficult because it involves the initial exposure to subject jargon, difficult words to say, let alone understand …and then use.
  • Designing activities to engage with the text will become a main focus of this project:

Activities need to help learners

    • come to grips with the terminology used in A and P
    • apply/authenticate what they’re learning
    • share what they’re learning
    • get feedback/reassurance about what they’re learning [can come from each other, not necessarily the ‘experts’ and we can use wiki discussion pages / web-chat to enable this]

They also need to be

    • fun [games, crosswords etc]
    • portable
    • localizable
    • printable

[would be good to have discussion about these from others who’ve done it already]

[one implication raised was using the format/syntax of the pedagogical templates in wikiEd means they don’t transfer to other environments]

This is an important consideration -- but not insurmountable. The pedagogical templates will transfer to any Mediawiki installation -- eg Wikibooks, Wikiversity etc. Its simply a question of copy & paste. WE has no problem with our pedagogical templates being copied to other free content projects -- in fact we encourage this. The pedagogical templates transfer well to the print versions of Wiki ==> print, and WE have a prototype which demonstrates that they will transfer to a SCORM/IMS content package (essentially the format used for importing content into an LMS.) --Wayne Mackintosh 01:40, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Images that are presently used (in PPT), enrich and illustrate materials well. But there will be copyright issues….will need new sources or new images [raises a resourcing issue].
  • A substantial portion of the existing text is material that is directly relevant to people who need to know about human anatomy and physiology so it would seem ‘efficient’ –to make materials also usable by people interested in this level of human anatomy [materials have already been adapted and used with massage therapy students]
  • Some of the content is only relevant to animal A and P so these parts of the text eg skin, skeleton…will require their own activities. Careful design and development will enable both human and animal A and P students to use the resources.
How do we identify this? Is it possible to generate a list of the contents that is usable for both human and animal A & P. This is an exciting opportunity for reuse! --Wayne Mackintosh 01:40, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
  • The materials for human anatomy might be required at a level higher [current NZ standard requirements] than the animal anatomy students require. We thought this could be addressed by clear objectives at the outset. Also, the activities should be designed to require learners to engage at different levels with the text.
FSpence (talk)12:23, 9 May 2008

If we decide to make the material usable by both vet nursing and human biology students it will be necessary to decide:

  • whether we want both to be at the same level
  • what level that is
  • whether there is a clear core of material common to both
  • what additional material is required for each
  • is it possible to make the material relevant for other levels by including add-ons

My feeling at moment is all these things are possible but doing anything that takes us away from the core A and P material as it stands in WikiBooks will require considerably more input in terms of negotiation over content and writing that content. This will mean including consultation with others involved in the delivery of human biology and from my point of view will mean I have to devote a lot more time than I have available at the moment.

RLawson (talk)19:01, 17 May 2008

My personal sense is to avoid the temptation of "mission drift"

This core text was designed for vet nursing -- so why not build and add value to a solid foundation for the intended audience.

It is always possible at a later stage to take a small representative sample or subsection to explore the implications (technical, academic and otherwise) of recontextualising for human A & P.

What do you think?

Mackiwg (talk)19:09, 17 May 2008

I do like the term "mission drift". I would feel much happier building on what we have and know and then when we know what we are doing and what works and what doesn't then moving it out into other subject areas.

RLawson (talk)19:16, 17 May 2008


I think that's a good call.

What do others think?


Mackiwg (talk)19:19, 17 May 2008

I'm all for what's going to be 'doable'. Ruth, you're probably the one with the best sense of how much work is really involved. I think your idea to focus on development of the work you have specifically done for animal A and P is the 'most doable' option and as you say, Wayne, we can look at what it takes to recontextualise later. We should hold it in mind as we go. --Fiona 03:25, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

FSpence (talk)16:25, 27 May 2008

Thoughts about images ...

Edited by another user.
Last edit: 18:31, 11 May 2008

I stumbled across the Human Physiology text on Wikibooks and saw this example of the Animal cell structure in svg (Scalable vector graphics) format.

Animal cell structure svg

Essentially this means you can blow up the picture as big as you want without loosing quality. It is also an open format which means it can easily be edited using free software -- You can download Inkscape and have a play. This means the manipulation of labels, eg leaving blanks for exercises, creating versions for coloring exercises etc is easier.


Yes we saw this image when looking at the text. We all decided that Ruth's simple black and white diagrams which she has created herself are much simpler for labelling and colouring in exercises which she would like to incorporate. --bron 05:31, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

Mackiwg (talk)07:14, 10 May 2008

I have considered this diagram several times for worksheets etc. but it is just too busy and the colours do not lend themselves to black and white printing.

RLawson (talk)18:31, 17 May 2008

Hi Ruth,

I hear your concerns :-). The point is that this diagram is available in an open svg format which means its very easy to change the colors so that the diagrame is more suitable for black and white printing without much effort!

Download Inkscape and the diagram -- and have play around with changing the colours to suite your needs. This is the power of open formats <smile>.

If we really want to get fancy we could have a colour version for online viewing -- and a balck and white version that is optimized for pdf output.

Cheers Wayne

Mackiwg (talk)18:36, 17 May 2008

Hi Wayne, Nice to know you are online the same time as me. How can I put it nicely ------ I just dont like that diagram. I like mine much, much better!!!!!! I suppose though, that is not the point, its what the students like and certainly my students have expressed nothing but good comments on my diagrams saying how simple and clear they are to understand. The other issue is that I want a unified style to all the diagrams. I cann't see we can get that unless we/I have total control of them. Also it takes no time to do them!!!! Assuming I have a template I can whizz them off in no time. Cheers Ruth

RLawson (talk)19:10, 17 May 2008

Hi Ruth --

Yeah -- and you're working on a Saturday, and I'm working past my bedtime on a Friday!

I learned a long time ago that the gut feel of an academic is a very accurate instrument. I'm sure that your diagrams are, from a teaching perspective, an order of magnitude better than the example I was showing.

Mmmmm -- control over content and you're prepared to use a wiki <smile>. My point is about image formats and saving time .... pdf won't do that for you.

Given your speed in whizzing of diagrams -- now if you learned how to use Inkscape you would scale up your development capacity --- over time by an order of magnitude <smile>

Hey -- I need to get some sleep. Off to go camping tomorrow in Washington state -- its a long weekend.

Mackiwg (talk)19:16, 17 May 2008

Design meeting 7 may 08

Edited by 2 users.
Last edit: 18:28, 11 May 2008

how can files from wikibooks be converted to a SVG format- designed in a template (?)

Get a copy of Inkscape (free software) and do a couple of tests exporting/importing source files of the images into Inkscape so we can scope the implications. --Wayne Mackintosh 05:41, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

COL: would like to see a) keep original version in wikibooks - copy in wikiEd for modifications - can migrate back into wikibooks. Develop in parallel. eg learning activity using parts of the book - discrete units.

core material - library of learning activities could be created for different contexts.

  • How to structure this to facilitate multiple uses?

wikied now has worksheets and test yourselves. Ruth gets students to edit the worksheets - ruth changes them in class - edits and adds, changes the emphasis.

has quizzes on Blackboard and powerpoints.

changes to digital copyright laws in NZ will not apply to teachers outside NZ. eg. taking images off the Internet and taking copyright information with the image.

may need support to get someone to search out open images for use in the presentations.

  • how to import updated wikied version into wikibooks?

where to from here?

  • do we strip the content to the core and add contextualisation - embellishments.
  • Needs to firstly meet needs of promary audience - NZ vet nurses.
  • establish a goal for the project.
  • Funding for initial development.
  • what Ruth would like to happen - "would like the course to be more interactive - content eg. click on glossary - audio, (cell terminology particularly complex) each section interactive esp for distance students. content interspersed with interactive activities.

- read word, get to hear it, definition, use the word - worksheet, quizzes, animations - labels,

Pretty easy to do in WE -- see for example the audio inserts in the Newbie tutorials on WE. --Wayne Mackintosh 05:41, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
  • students like colouring in.
SVG graphics designed for students to colour in can work here --Wayne Mackintosh 05:41, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Ruth sometimes uses crosswords, word finds
There is a crossword template in Wikipedia which we could hack for WE -- lets explore --Wayne Mackintosh 05:41, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
  • drawing colouring programmes online?
mmmm -- need to think here, if we provide the svg formats online -- student could download the source files and colour in using free software. --Wayne Mackintosh 05:41, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
  • keep activities simple
  • whole course - need to redesign it to make it fun and light.
  • begin with one module eg. chemistry, cell
  • analyse with each module how to make it more interactive e.g. audio exercise and link to a diagram in some way. rearrange text and labels.
Good idea -- perfectly doable
  • re-examine each diagram - use as is or change eg. add more animation.
animation will be difficult in the first iteration -- however there are a couple of neat tricks we can consider using more traditional approaches of DE design --Wayne Mackintosh 05:41, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
We can also link to existing animations so need some resourcing for someone to search for these. We have some already used in other A & P courses - human - some of which will be applicable. --bron 05:28, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Fee will write up the beginnings of a plan
and a good plan it will be :-)
  • Take cell module and eg skin module and use in the scope - redesign and see how easy it is to create a model for generic material and another which needs specific examples.
  • or do we focus on A & P of animals only?
  • send fiona access to Blackboard
Have fun Fee -- I don't use non-free software <smile> --Wayne Mackintosh 05:41, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Have done this via email. --bron 05:28, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Make it flexible so that people can adapt it to their own uses.
Ditto --Wayne Mackintosh 05:41, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Project focuses on building on teaching around a textbook.
  • Student providing each other feedback, seen on Blackboard forum.
This sounds interesting ... --Wayne Mackintosh 05:41, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Need to build in better communication strategies especially for distance students who currently get no feedback online from instructors apart from email - all individual responses so no record of responses and must add to workload having to answer same questions all the time - also interaction occurs in block courses. No structured class group activities in between block courses. --bron 05:28, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Use the discussion page on wikieducator.
  • Come up with tools that make creating a work sheet much easier. Empty templates for people to use, teachers to put their individual slant on. User friendly approach.
I have a couple of ideas here given recent advances in our Wiki ==> pdf functionaltiy
  • COL project focuses on building teaching and learning activities/models to get students to engage to a text.
Yip! Always on the search for evolving pedagogy - -this builds on Otago's foundations of the activity approach --Wayne Mackintosh 05:41, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Polytech will develop a (human) text so that this project can develop worksheets that point to both animals and human text.
mmmm sounds very interesting
Priority has to be this project in terms of time of content expert which is limited. --bron 05:28, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Make this a communication campaign.
COL can help here --Wayne Mackintosh 05:41, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Bronwynh (talk)11:44, 7 May 2008

Hi Bronwyn --

Just a very brief response -- looks like the team had a very productive discussion.

I can't wait to join discussions and add thoughts and ideas. I've added a few impulsive comments above <smile>.

I think we should play around with a format in the wiki that will help us collaborate on this excellent brainstorm list.

An exciting project....


Mackiwg (talk)18:11, 7 May 2008

Yes Wayne it was a very productive meeting - your suggestions are very helpful and we will have lots of fun being creative.

Bronwynh (talk)17:51, 11 May 2008