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Why A﹠P Faculty Need to Become Students | TAPP 117

by Kevin Patton

Why A﹠P Faculty Need to Become Students

TAPP Radio Episode 117


Episode | Quick Take

Sure, we’re all life-long learners. But taking an actual college course from time to time throughout our teaching career can have unexpected benefits. Olfactory adaptation helps a lot when visiting the zoo, of course, but how does it really work? Researchers have found some new answers. Did you know that cerebrospinal fluid affects the process of memory? It does and we’ll find out how.

  • 00:00 | Introduction
  • 00:43 | Olfactory Adaptation
  • 06:23 | Sponsored by AAA
  • 07:06 | CSF and Cognitive Decline
  • 10:57 | Sponsored by HAPI
  • 11:47 | Enrolling as a Student in a Course
  • 21:33 | Sponsored by HAPS
  • 22:24 | Lessons from Being a Student
  • 36:03 | Staying Connected


Episode | Listen Now

Episode | Show Notes

Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. (John Dewey)


Olfactory Adaptation

6.5 minutes

We know that olfactory adaptation reduces perception of an persistent odor so that we can monitor our environment for new odors. But how does it work? This segments reveals some of those mysteries.

  • Olfactory Neurons Adapt to the Surrounding Environment (brief article explaining the new research) AandP.info/nxt
  • Transcriptional adaptation of olfactory sensory neurons to GPCR identity and activity (research article in Nature Communications) AandP.info/unm

Why A﹠P Faculty Need to Become Students | TAPP 117


Sponsored by AAA

40 seconds

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 anatomy.org.

Searchable transcript

Captioned audiogram 

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

AAA logo


CSF and Cognitive Decline

4 minutes

Factors in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) help regulate oligodendrocyte development and myelin sheath health in the hippocampus.  Myelinization in the hippocampus affects memory. As we age our CSF factors decline and put us at risk of memory loss. New research shows that restoring those factors can reverse memory decline. Listen and find out more!

  • Young cerebrospinal fluid improves memory in old mice (brief news post in Nature) AandP.info/be3
  • Young CSF restores oligodendrogenesis and memory in aged mice via Fgf17 (research article in Nature) AandP.info/m0a


Sponsored by HAPI Online Graduate Program

47 seconds

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


Enrolling as a Student in a Course

10 minutes

Enrolling as a student in a college course can have benefits for faculty. Being mindful of the student experience—intentionally avoiding a focus on using our “teacher lens” —can help immerse us in being a student for a change. Besides helping us avoid burnout, there are other benefits.


Sponsored by HAPS

48 seconds

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


Lessons from Being a Student

13.5 minutes

What can we use from a student experience in a course to help us improve our teaching and our course? A lot, it turns out.

Need help accessing resources locked behind a paywall?
Check out this advice from Episode 32 to get what you need!

Episode | Transcript

The A&P Professor podcast (TAPP radio) episodes are made for listening, not reading. This transcript is provided for your convenience, but hey, it’s just not possible to capture the emphasis and dramatic delivery of the audio version. Or the cool theme music.  Or laughs and snorts. And because it’s generated by a combo of machine and human transcription, it may not be exactly right. So I strongly recommend listening by clicking the audio player provided.

AAA logoThis searchable transcript is supported by the
American Association for Anatomy.
I'm a member—maybe you should be one, too!

PDF icon


Kevin Patton (00:00):
The education reformer, John Dewey, once said, “Education is not preparation for life. Education is life itself.”

Aileen Park (00:13):
Welcome to The A&P Professor, a few minutes to focus on teaching Human Anatomy & Physiology with a veteran educator and teaching mentor, your host, Kevin Patton.

Kevin Patton (00:25):
In this episode, I talk about how olfactory adaptation really works, I talk about how cerebral spinal fluid affects memory, and I discuss why A&P professors should take courses.

Olfactory Adaptation

Kevin Patton (00:43):
When our students are learning about senses in our A&P course, and we get to olfaction, we normally have them learn about the process of adaptation. That’s the process where, once we detect an odorant, we very quickly lose the ability to detect it, and that enables us then to focus on new, additional odorants that come along in our environment. For example, talking about adaptation always brings me back to the olden days when I was a zookeeper and, after that, an animal trainer.

Kevin Patton (01:22):
One of the types of animals that I worked with were elephants. So, if I would enter the elephant barn in the morning, I would be enveloped by odorant molecules that were released from the elephant feces which had been deposited all night long, while I was outside that elephant barn. And, of course, to me, that smelled like job security. It also smelled like yeah, the elephants are doing what they’re supposed to do. If I detected a different kind of odor, then, that could be an alarm signal for me. So yeah, okay, I’m… There’s all this elephant poop, and it’s my job to get rid of it, and move it out of the building, and reduce the amount of odorant level in the elephant barn. And, as I do that, I’m not really overwhelmed by the odor. Why? Because of adaptation, I get used to it. And that’s good because I can then detect any other changes that I need to know about in that elephant barn.

Kevin Patton (02:23):
What if the hay, or the straw bedding, or sawdust that we use for bedding… What if it caught on fire? I might not be able to detect that…

Read the Entire Transcript

if my nose and my senses were so overwhelmed with the elephant poop odor, that I couldn’t detect that there was a fire starting. And the sooner I can detect that fire, the better it is for everyone involved. So, yeah, there’s kind of a weird example. But it’s an example of how adaptation helps us. So the question is, how does that work? How does our sensible faction adapt to a smell? And there’s been some recent work done at the University of Geneva, that was just published in Nature Communications, that has added to our knowledge of how that works.

Kevin Patton (03:10):
We still don’t have a complete story. But we have a more complete story than we had before. The first thing we have to realize that there are about 450 different kinds of odorant receptors in our olfactory epithelium, in those olfactory cells. And each olfactory cell has just one kind of receptor that it’s expressing. Now, it has genes for other receptors. But only the genes for that one receptor is being expressed in that one olfactory cell. So, therefore, there’s only one kind of olfactory receptor there. So there’s 450 different ones that, that could be humans. At least, that’s the current number. And, on other animals, it’s different amounts. Like, in mice, for example, there’re 1200 different odor receptors that an olfactory cell could have.

Kevin Patton (04:09):
So, when the odorant receptor gets triggered by the presence of the odorant, we normally think of it just… You know, sending a signal along the sensory pathway eventually gets to our brain. We understand that odorant is in our environment. It’s a very basic concept of neuroscience, that stimulus response. Well, it turns out that it’s more complicated, certainly with olfaction. What they found out, in some of these recent studies, is that, when that happens, there’s also signals sent within that cell to change the expression of at least a hundred different kinds of genes in that olfactory cell. So it makes all kinds of changes in that cell that continue to last for a while. So when an olfactory cell is hit by an odorant, and that odorant is detected, not only are we getting a sensory signal. We’re getting a genetic signal going on within that cell. And we’re changing the expression of genes, the kinds of messenger RNAs that are now running around in that cell. And that’s part of the process of adaptation. And that’s going to stick around for a while.

Kevin Patton (05:36):
So, what they’re saying is that our olfactory cells are becoming changed by the odors that we smell, and that our sense of smell is going to evolve over time. It’s going to be impacted by these previous experiences. Now, there’re a lot more questions than there are answers, right now, about how all that works. But it’s a pretty interesting development, and an interesting twist, and something that you may or may not want to share with your students. But, if they have some questions, you’re not going to have some updated information. And, of course, I have a link in the show notes, at the episode page, to the original research.

Sponsored by AAA

Kevin Patton (06:23):
A searchable transcript and a caption audiogram of this episode are funded by AAA, the American Association for Anatomy. Did you know that AAA gives you access to something called the Anatomy Training Program, which they co-sponsor? It provides customized training to those involved in teaching anatomy, but have not had much exposure to either human anatomy or clinical experience. Part of the program is offered at home, and part is offered in a one-week residential summer school in England. Want to know more? Check it out at anatomy.org.

CSF and Cognitive Decline

Kevin Patton (07:06):
Yeah, I’m a Boomer. And I can’t help that. I was born when I was born. And I recently entered the Over-60 Club. And one of the things that you are eligible for, in the Over-60 Club, is unfortunately age-related cognitive decline. As many as 25% of us, as we move through our 60s, and beyond, are going to succumb to age-related cognitive decline. There’s not a whole lot to be done about it. Now, we can make sure that we’re eating right and exercising, leading up to our 60s, and continuing on through the rest of our life. And that has shown to reduce risk of some of that cognitive decline. But, once we have it, and, as it progresses, there really isn’t a whole lot we can do about that. There’s no magic pill to take, or a magical treatment that we can take. But, of course, a lot of people are working on that. And there was a recent breakthrough that was published in the journal, Nature, that I want to tell you about. And it has to do with cerebral spinal fluid, or CSF.

Kevin Patton (08:14):
Now, we already know that there are some protein factors in CSF that can affect brain development, in general. So they start looking at some of those protein factors. And they found that, in young mice, the CSF has some factors that are not present in older mice, or at least not present in large quantities in older mice, that can affect the development and maintenance of the oligodendrocytes that are in the hippocampus. Now, it’s been shown that health oligodendrocyte development and maintenance in the hippocampus does maintain the kinds of memories that are associated with the function of the hippocampus. And, if you’re maintaining your oligodendrocytes in hippocampus, it’s not going to remember as well. There’s going to be cognitive decline, in terms of memory.

Kevin Patton (09:14):
So what they did was they put young CSF into old mice to see, can that be reversed? Can we make the memory better? And the answer is, yes. And it does that by affecting the maintenance of our oligodendrocytes in hippocampal pathways. So they thought, “Aha! What if we could find which factors they are?” So they did. At least, they’ve begun that process. They have identified some of the factors that are involved. And they took those factors, and those factors alone, not any CSF or anything. And they put those factors into the old mice CSF to see if it would have the same effect as putting young CSF into the older mice. And guess what? It did.

Kevin Patton (10:07):
So they found, at least, some of the factors that reverse this cognitive decline. That’s as far as they got. There’s a lot more work to be done, in terms of seeing if this is really going to play out the way we’re hoping it’s going to play out. Need to work out whether it’s going to work in humans, whether there’s really something in humans that does this. And, once we do that, assuming we’re able to do that, how are we going to get it into the brain? Can we develop a therapy, maybe, that can reverse or, if not completely reverse, maybe minimize some of the cognitive decline that many of us experience as we get older. So some new information about CSF that you might want to bring up in your course.

Sponsored by HAPI

Kevin Patton (10:57):
The free distribution of this podcast is sponsored by the Master of Science in Human Anatomy & Physiology instruction, the HAPI degree. I’ve been on the faculty of this program, at Northeast College of Health Sciences, from the beginning, just over 10 years ago. And I’m still excited about all the evidence-based teaching strategies that our learners apply directly to all the major topics in the typical anatomy and physiology course.

Kevin Patton (11:26):
If you’re looking for courses to take, or the whole degree, check out this online graduate program at northeastcollege.edu/hapi. That’s H-A-P-I. Or click the link in the show notes or episode page.

Enrolling as a Student in a Course

Kevin Patton (11:47):
Yeah yeah, yeah. I know. You’re a lifelong learner. Right? Well, of course you are. We have booted you out of our higher-ed instructors club and our secret society of A&P educators. If you weren’t a lifelong learner, we’re keeping an eye on you. We know these things about you. Now, I’m saying that because, as I start this segment about how we need to regularly be active as actual enrolled students, in order to maintain and improve our fitness as teachers, I don’t want you to sigh and think, “Oh, he’s going down the lifelong learning road. And I’m already on that road. And I’m going to listen to an episode of This Week in History podcast, instead of this, because I already know all this,” because that’s what something we lifelong learners would do. We’d turn it off, and we’d switch on to something else we can learn from. So yeah, no, I’m not going down that road, not exactly.

Kevin Patton (12:58):
Okay, we may take a shortcut or two that involves getting on that road for just a moment. But mostly, I’m going to take us in a slightly different direction. What I’m proposing to you is that it benefits us to actually become students, from time to time. Many of us have zero, or reduced, tuition if we enroll in a course at our own college. It’s a benefit that many, at least the full-time faculty, have. And, a lot of times, also adjunct faculty, or at least reduced tuition. Right? And I’m suggesting taking a course every once in a while. Don’t just use it for your family. Use it for yourself. Enroll as a student and be a student. And this is probably the most important part. Be mindful of every aspect, and every moment, and of every experience of being a student. Now, hold that thought for a second. I’m going to circle back to that in just a moment. But first, I want to emphasize that the student experience is something we need, in order to truly understand how we can best help the students in our course. That is, how to stay out of their way and really get down to the business of facilitating learning.

Kevin Patton (14:23):
Now, in my community college, over the years, I’ve taken several courses, usually for the full for-credit experience. But sometimes I took the non-credit or audit option, when available. I think the for-credit option gives us a different and deeper experience sometimes. So I usually do that when I can. And I’ve taking all kinds of courses. I’ve taken studio art courses, voice class, and private voice lessons, horsemanship courses, geographic information systems course, foreign travel courses. And I’ve been involved in the theater department productions, including my stellar debut performance in the role of a science professor in a production of the play, Our Town. But I’ve also taken other kinds of courses, in other kinds of venues. I’ve taken an online osteoarcheology course at a European university. I took a remote course in transgender studies at a neighboring community college. I’ve taken Tai Chi courses, as well as private lessons at an athletic club. And, together, my wife and I tried, and miserably comically, failed an Irish Set Dancing course.

Kevin Patton (15:46):
Okay. I’m not going to keep going down the list. But you get it. As a lifelong learner, I don’t just listen to the History This Week podcast, or read books, or take nature walks, or ask old people to tell me stories. I do all that. But I also take actual courses. And that includes college courses. And, sometimes, I do well. And, sometimes, I do just okay. And, sometimes, I fail. And all of that, including the failures, maybe especially the failures, makes me a better teacher.

Kevin Patton (16:28):
Now, circling back to that being mindful thing I promised I’d come back to, I do try to savor each moment of being an enrolled student, when I’m in a college class because, in being mindful, I’m going to see, hear, smell, and touch things that my students also do. And I’m going to be doing it from the student perspective, not my usual perspective as faculty. That is, I pay attention.

Kevin Patton (17:06):
In being mindful of the student experience, I guess I’m doing some metacognition, regarding my experience in learning. But, except for some occasional accidental thoughts, my focus is not on analyzing the teacher, or analyzing the course from the teacher perspective. I try to stick to the student perspective. I’m intentional about that. When I do happen to have an experience that I think can inform my own teaching and my own course, I jot it down in my digital notebook so I don’t forget it. But then, as I do when I’m meditating, I push myself back into a focus on being a student. In other words, go away, thoughts, about being a teacher. I’m a student right now. So I do actively do that. And sometimes your mind strays. So you have to do that sort of thing. And I do that. I intentionally do that.

Kevin Patton (18:12):
Now, there’s several reasons why I don’t want to let myself stay focused on the teacher perspective. One is that I don’t want to judge my peers. When I’m a student, I want to enjoy the experience and enjoy the teacher. I remind myself that everyone has their own shtick, their own classroom persona, their own approach to course design. And if I judge it all in every moment from the teacher perspective, I won’t benefit much from that analysis. And any judgment I do have won’t be generous or well-informed. So I actively avoid that.

Kevin Patton (18:55):
Another reason to shun a focus on the teacher perspective is that a big, big, big reason I take courses is to counteract or avoid burnout. A lot of experts advise that those struggling with burnout should consider doing something different, even if it means adding to your list of responsibilities. Now I know. I know. That seems counterintuitive. If you’re feeling overburdened already, do you really want to take on more? But it has often worked for me. For me, it gets all that burdensome stuff out of my head and off my desk for at least a little part of each week. It also gets me thinking in ways that are different than I think in my usual roles, because I’m doing different kinds of things, and probably thinking about a completely different kind of discipline as I do it. It really does get me thinking about things that are different than the things I usually think about.

Kevin Patton (20:06):
Yet, another reason to avoid looking through my teacher lens, while taking a course, is probably the most obvious. It gets in the way of accomplishing my learning goals and the course I’m taking. But you know. Then, the course is over. And I’ve always felt good about that. I’ve always enjoyed the teacher. I found a lot of enjoyment in the comradery and collaboration among my fellow students and, like you, I enjoy learning new concepts and skills and exploring new ideas and maybe reviewing stuff that I’ve long forgotten. Now, just after the course ends is a good time to go ahead and debrief, looking back over that course, not only from the student perspective, but, now finally, from the teacher perspective.

Kevin Patton (21:04):
I get out that digital notebook, where I’ve been jotting a few notes here and there, and look those over. And then I sit down and really try to fill in what I learned, as a student, that could be helpful in my own teaching, in my own courses. What kind of things do I find during those debriefings? Well, I’ll be back in just a moment to fill you in.

Sponsored by HAPS

Kevin Patton (21:33):
Marketing support for this podcast is provided by HAPS, the Human Anatomy & Physiology Society, promoting excellence in the teaching of Human Anatomy & Physiology for over 30 years. About 12 years ago, I was asked by HAPS leadership to organize a program to offer graduate, credit-bearing courses to A&P faculty. Working with a small but mighty group of experienced faculty, we developed HAPS Institute, or HAPSI, which continues to offer regular courses in all kinds of topics. See what’s available online at theAPprofessor.org/haps. That’s H-A-P-S.

Lessons from Being a Student

Kevin Patton (22:25):
I’ve been talking about the hidden values in professors becoming students and enrolling in a college course, from time to time. Now you may already do this, and may already appreciate some of those hidden values. But, you know what? It’s never a bad idea to go back, every once in a while, to revisit some of the lessons we’ve already learned, because, well, there’s always more to learn from them. Right?

Kevin Patton (22:51):
In an earlier segment, I was talking about debriefing after taking a course, as a student, to finally switch off my student mode and shift back to my instructor mode, to see what I can pull out of that experience to help me in my teaching. One thing that never fails to surprise me is that students generally experience a course differently than we faculty expect, or imagine, that they’re experiencing it. Part of that is we don’t really understand what they do or don’t know, or believe, or have experienced, coming into the course. Some of it is more than we expect, imagine, or think we know about them. And some of it is less, but it’s never on the mark. I learn, from that, I must be more humble, less confident, that I can chart a path for success, if there’s no way to be accurate in my assumptions about my students.

Kevin Patton (24:01):
Sometimes, I’ve found out that there are things we do in our syllabus that are off-putting, or culturally dated, or confusing. Sometimes, that happens in our learning activities, or lectures, or tests, or quizzes. And I find out more about how students approach their courses. Mainly, I’m reminded there’s not one or two, or even three or four, ways a student will approach a course. And I need to be reminded of that. We’re all different in how we think, how we learn, how we study, and what, if any, motivation we have to do any of that. That motivation thing usually really jumps out at me. That’s because I often find myself falling into that lazy state of mind in which I think every student who is not progressing, or not making their goals, in my expected timeframe, is simply not motivated. Laying aside my strong belief and that it’s partly on me to help them find their motivation, it turns out that a lot, not all, but a lot of that lack of timely progress isn’t about motivation at all. It’s about the complicated lives of students that seem to get more complicated all the time.

Kevin Patton (25:40):
Now, when I was an undergrad in the old olden days, my life wasn’t very complicated. I had way more college money in the form of scholarships, and grants, and no, or low-interest, loans than is available now, way more. And I knew how to access it. In fact, I see, now, I was quite privileged, in many ways, as were the lives of many of my buddies at the university.

Kevin Patton (26:14):
It wasn’t until I became an educator, and then started taking classes now and then, and started rubbing shoulders with one after another new generation of students, that I realized that, in many ways, life is way different now for undergrads than it was back then. Now remember, I’ve been teaching for 40 years. So I feel kind of like a big old oak tree, watching all the changes happen around me for a very long time, generation after generation.

Kevin Patton (26:51):
The point I’m slowly getting to is that, year by year, it’s more challenging for many of our students than we can fathom. What’s worse, there aren’t the supports that some of us had access to when we were undergraduates. So that student that you and I think is lazier, unmotivated, may have significant obstacles they’re overcoming, obstacles that, if we knew about them, would leave us in awe over how well they’re doing in our course, despite those challenges.

Kevin Patton (27:34):
Now, I’ve been trusted by many of my students, over the years, who have shared their challenges with me. But it’s not until I become a student that I can more fully grasp what’s going on in the lives of students because, after all, I’ve become part of their group. And, really, I’ve never taken a course where I wasn’t accepted into the group. And that leads me to another benefit of taking courses as a student. I can empathize with, and relate better to, all those returning learners that we often see in the community college, and more often now at other colleges and universities. I’ve spoken about this in past episodes. But returning learners really do worry about fitting in with the younger students, and also still having what it takes to succeed. We have to reassure them long enough for them to see that, well, they really will be accepted, and that their life experience can help not only themselves, but the younger students, in succeeding in the course.

Kevin Patton (28:50):
And that idea leads to, yet, another fruit to be harvested from the student experience. Students see or hear about me being a student. And I think that builds trust with them in a way that other trust-building strategies just can’t do. I really have been there and done that, recently. If I’ve been taking these courses, I’ve been there and done that recently, not five or 10 or 40 years ago, when the world was different. And we know that the student faculty relationship, when it’s founded on trust, is perhaps the most important thing to ensure student success and student perseverance in college.

Kevin Patton (29:42):
But there’s another thing that’s related to that, something that never occurred to me until it started happening. I’ve found that I can use my experiences of frustration in learning as a way to connect with my own students. When I share stories of how, after taking five, count them, five, courses in ceramics, I still have difficulty throwing even a simple bowl that, sometimes, even extra practice, isn’t enough to get to where I want to be. But, well, okay, I got a decent grade in all those ceramics courses because I did that extra practice, and I got tips and other help from my fellow students, and I asked my teacher for help, and, well, I just pushed through, and did well enough on my sculpting and finishing, and all that other stuff that wasn’t about throwing pots, to make it all work out okay. In other words, I got good grades.

Kevin Patton (30:54):
And there’s the time I failed horsemanship. Why? Because I didn’t show up for all the classes, and I missed some of the important lessons, and I didn’t get enough practice, and, sort of, just kind of gave up toward the end because I was so far behind. I think our students sometimes believe that we were born already knowing A&P, and all that stuff, and that we never find the learning that goes on in a course to be frustrating, or time-consuming, or difficult because they see us at the end of some successful learning, successful learning in A&P, that is, not so much successful learning in the pottery part of ceramics class. That’s for sure. Or those particular things in horsemanship that I missed out on in that course that I failed. But in A&P yeah, I’m pretty good because, well, I’ve had 40 years of practice. I hope I’m better than I was when I started. Yeah.

Kevin Patton (32:08):
So they see us at the end of that road, or not necessarily at the end, but pretty far along that road. So they imagine that it just comes naturally to us. And none of this comes naturally to anybody, not really. I mean, you may have some sort of inclination toward a discipline, or something, or a willingness to work for something and not something else. But you know, we don’t just have all of it already, all those skills and all that knowledge already. We have to acquire that. And that takes work, and it takes practice, and it takes, yes, frustration. And you know, I’d better not leave this part out. You know the frustration we experienced when we first learned how to use our first learning management system or LMS? You remember. All the yelling and cursing, giving up, and then realizing that giving up, wasn’t a choice. As I get better at handling those things, skills and attitudes that come with years of practice and frustration, I often forget that students coming into my course aren’t necessarily as prepared for our use of the LMS as we think they are.

Kevin Patton (33:21):
First of all, the idea of a digital generation that is already comfortable with everything done on a digital device is a myth. I do not believe that we are there yet. I don’t know that we’ll ever get where people imagine we’re going to get with that idea of a digital generation. It’s not real. Secondly, we’re used to the way we do things ourselves. Our students may have used an LMS before, but maybe not this LMS. Or maybe they’ve used this LMS, but not set up the way we have it set up in our course, or maybe they’ve used this LMS before, but not with the textbook publisher plugins that we’re using, or the special features, or special software of the LMS we’re using, or maybe the upgraded version of the LMS that just came out over the summer.

Kevin Patton (34:21):
But, when you take somebody else’s course, even if it’s at the same institution, using the same LMS, you realize that there’s more pain and suffering during the first week or so of class than any of us teachers realize. And, like magic, I begin to be way more kind and way more supportive about that than I was before because, after a while, you forget. I forgot. I forget about how hard that can be. And I forget all the other things that I’ve been discussing here, all of those frustrations, all of that hard work, all of those obstacles to overcome. I forget that, after a while.

Kevin Patton (35:20):
So that’s why it’s important for me to keep up my practice of enrolling in courses, so that I keep getting reminded, because I will forget. I need to have that refresh so I can stay empathetic, and understanding, and supportive. And I can really look at the design of my course, and my syllabus, and my assessments, in a way that is sensitive to the student perspective. So that’s why it’s important for me to do that, that and, well, to avoid burnout.

Staying Connected

Kevin Patton (36:03):
Well, in this episode, we learned a little bit more than we knew before, about how olfactory adaptation works. And we found out that cerebrospinal fluid plays a role in memory and that young cerebrospinal fluid can help older brains learn and remember things more efficiently. And you heard my take on why all of us should take a course, a real bonafide college course, every once in a while. It’ll improve our understanding of, and empathy for, students. But it’ll also help us avoid burning out. There’s probably something in all of that you want to share with a colleague. There’s still a lot of A&P faculty out there who are not connected as you are, and would welcome learning about this free podcast that they can listen to anytime. Simply go to theAPprofessor.org/refer to get a personalized share link that will get your friend all set up in a podcast player of their choice. They’ll thank you. And so will I.

Kevin Patton (37:15):
I always provide links to sources and other related material for each episode. If you don’t see links in your podcast player, go to the show notes at the Episode Page at theAPprofessor.org/117. And, while you’re there, you can claim your digital credential for listening to this episode. Do you have something you want to share? Maybe some research you’ve done, a teaching tip or two, or your take on anything related to teaching and learning Anatomy and Physiology, or maybe a question, or a challenge, or a correction to something I’ve said.

Kevin Patton (37:56):
You’re always encouraged to call in with your questions, comments, and ideas at the Podcast Hotline. That’s 1-833-LION-DEN, which is 1-833-546-6336. Or send a recording or written message to podcast@theAPprofessor.org. And you’re invited to join my private A&P teaching community at theAPprofessor.org/community. I’ll see you down the road.

Aileen Park (38:32):
The A&P Professor is hosted by Dr. Kevin Patton, an award-winning professor and textbook author in Human Anatomy & Physiology.

Kevin Patton (38:46):
Please do not stand on the top rung of this episode.

Episode | Captioned Audiogram

This podcast is sponsored by the
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Transcripts & captions supported by
The American Association for Anatomy. 
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Last updated: February 24, 2023 at 16:12 pm

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