Central Arizona College uses new method to teach human anatomy

(Submitted Photo)

Central Arizona College students enrolled in BIO201 and BIO202 are experiencing a new form of learning using Maniken Student Models and clay.

Samuli Rauhalammi, professor of biological sciences, introduced the Anatomy in Clay Learning Systems this past year to 14 students enrolled in BIO201 at the Aravaipa Campus in Winkelman.

The goal of this new teaching method is to minimize the time spent on lectures, allowing students’ time for self-discovery and hands-on learning, according to a press release.

Students learn about all body systems including skeletal, muscular, nervous, tissue types and cell function. At the end of the class, they will complete a case study of a chosen clinical condition, a release states.

“Each student receives a half-skeleton model that will stay with them for the two years they are enrolled in the biology courses,” Mr. Rauhalammi said in a prepared statement.

“The students put together their model, one system at a time and each model develops their own characteristics. Through this method, all learning styles — visual, kinesthetic, and auditory — are addressed. It is a paradigm flip for the classroom.”

Kyndra Barney, a BIO201 student said she is visual learner so this method helped her to understand the concepts.

Although this is only being done in biology courses taught at the Aravaipa Campus, this teaching method will be rolled out district-wide beginning in Fall 2018.

Multiple students have commented about the positive benefits of this learning model.

“I feel the hands on part of the class [with] clay models was very useful,” Maranda Petty said in a prepared statement. “(They) gave a better understanding of where the body parts are placed. I really enjoyed it”

Jacob Reidhead said he found the clay model to be particularly useful in learning.

“I got to see (the body),” he said in a prepared statement. “If it was just a lecture it would be hard to see what they looked like.”

Kadi Monfred said this class was her favorite she’s had at the school.

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