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ANAT 215 - Principles of Human Morphology I

 Fall 2023
 Year 2
On-Campus Course

Course Coordinator: Dr. Les MacKenzie

Anatomy 215 is designed as a core course in Anatomy for Students in the Life Sciences Subject of Specialization degree program. The emphasis of this course deals with the general principles of human structure and function as appreciated through a survey of the morphological sciences, including: microscopic and gross anatomy of the nervous system, musculo-skeletal system, and cardiovascular system. This is a half-course offered in the fall term annually.

NOTE Priority will be given to students registered in a LISC Specialization Plan.

Course Objectives

The lecture and laboratory exercises provide concepts and principles that contribute to a basic understanding of the structure and function of the human body. It is anticipated that the goal of the student, through assimilation of the materials of this course, will be able to demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the course material and thereby, attain a basic knowledge of human morphology.

Learning Outcomes

Your success in this course depends on your understanding of what we are attempting to teach. Keep in mind the following goals as you begin and proceed through this course in Human Anatomy:

  1. To learn and use standard anatomical terms and concepts for the purpose of identification, communication and critical reading of relevant anatomical (medical) literature.
  2. To understand the gross (macroscopic) and histology (microscopic) anatomy (and some relevant function) of the tissues and organs that make up the human body. 
  3. To develop and utilize a systematic logical thinking process to help you work through understanding the structure of the human body.
  4. To understand the inseparable relationship between histology and gross anatomy with respect to structure and function, and be able to apply that understanding.

Remember we can teach these things but it is up to you to learn them. Never loose sight of the fact that you are responsible for your own learning. Your goal should not be simply to know facts but to be able to understand and apply those facts in a meaningful way.

(BIOL 102/3.0 and BIOL 103/3.0) or (BIOL 201/3.0 and BIOL 202/3.0) or permission of the Department of

Biomedical and Molecular Sciences.

No more than 3.0 units from ANAT 215/3.0; ANAT 315/3.0.


Theory Evaluations   (multiple choice questions based on lecture material)

Block 1 - Comprehensive

Wednesday October 03, 2018


Block 2 - Comprehensive

Friday November 02, 2018



Block 3 - Comprehensive

Friday November 30, 2018


B.        Practical Evaluations

1.  Midterm

Saturday October 20, 2018


2.  End of the Term

Monday December 03, 2018


C.       Quizzes

1.  Online  (12 mins)

September 26, 2018

October 24, 2018

November 14, 21, 2018







Student Evaluation

Evaluation of student performance consists of three components: two sets of evaluations and Quizzes. Each set of evaluations in this course consist of a theory and practical exam. The theory exams (Block 1,2 and 3) consist of MCQ (multiple choice questions). There are approximately 45 questions in each exam.  The practical laboratory evaluations consist of a “bell-ringer” exam. There will be approximately 35 question stations for the midterm and 50 question stations for the final. Every second question station will consist of an “A” and “B” part. Each question will consist of a photograph of a microscope slide, i.e. histology (occasionally we will use the microscope for this purpose) or a gross anatomy specimen. On the exam answer page that you will be given, you are asked to identify or give the function of the cell, tissue, organ or structure indicated. You have one minute at each question station. At the end of the minute a bell rings signalling you to move in a clock wise direction to the next station. Practice questions will be posted on Helix and set up in the lab prior to the midterm. Both theory and practical evaluation questions will come from the lecture and laboratory material. You are responsible for everything covered in the lectures and labs unless otherwise notified.


There will be four Quizzes throughout the course. The quizzes will be offered using WileyPlus (online). The multiple choice questions will focus on the lecture topics.  Each quiz will usually consist of ten questions. You will, however, have only 12 minutes to complete the quiz; YOU MUST BE READY AND PREPARED!  Each quiz is worth 2.5 % of your final mark.

A second year student perspective of the “bell-ringer” practical examinations: Some Practical Advice and Pointers!

  • Bring your lab coat and a pen (or pencil if you prefer).

  • You’ll wait in the hall until the lab is set and ready for you to come in (show up at least 15 minutes before your session is to start).
  • Waiting for you in the lab will be a circuit of stations around the room with questions and specimens or printed pictures.
  • At each station, there will be a clipboard - pick one and write your student number at the top of the answer sheet. You’ll be carrying this with you.
  • The first buzzer will sound and that signals the beginning of the 60 seconds you’ll have to answer the question(s) at the station.
  • Every other station has two questions (usually related).
  • When the next buzzer sounds, you’ll move to the station to your right and immediately start answering the question(s). 
  • You’ll be happy to know that spelling doesn’t count as long as your answer is recognizable and unambiguous (e.g. you can’t mix up “inter-“ and “intra-“, but you wouldn’t lose marks for writing “humerous” instead of “humerus”).
  • If you’re struggling or temporarily mind-blanking, make a really quick sketch or scribble a few notes down so that you can recall those questions at rest stations.
  • Second guessing often results in wrong answers... consider giving your gut instinct some credit when you check over your answers at a rest station.
  • When dealing with histology slides, don’t forget to scan the whole specimen for clues or to get a better idea of what’s being represented.
  • Read the question(s) and be sure you’re answering what’s being asked.
  • Be a specific as possible (e.g. “manubrium of sternum”, not just “sternum”), and worry about specifying left or right.
  • If you don’t know the answer, you might as well guess something; you have nothing to lose.

Textbooks for Anatomy 215* (also used for Anatomy 216*)

Required Text: Principles of Human Anatomy: 14th Ed., G.J. Tortora and M. Nielsen, Wiley

Page references to this textbook are included in the lecture outlines. Use this text for reference and to develop a complete understanding of material presented in lecture and labs. It serves as the official indication of the level of detail we expect you to know and understand relative to the lecture outlines. Because the syllabus is not designed to be a complete anatomy resource, you will need the textbook.

Supplementary Texts (optional):

Gross anatomy atlas: “A collection of Human Anatomy Images” Queen’s University
Histology textbook/atlas

(Although optional access to one of the above or any other atlas will prove to be beneficial throughout the course)

Course grades are assigned by the University at the completion of the course. There are no formal interim grades assigned by the University although we do post marks on the course website after the exams so that you can assess your performance relative to the class as a whole.

Students will receive numerical grades for all of the evaluations. A grade of 50 percent or better is necessary to pass the evaluations and the course. Final course grades are not based on the statistical analysis of your class (i.e. class mean and standard deviation). Your final grade reflects only your work and you are not competing with your classmates for your grade. As well, please bear in mind that your final grade in this course will be based on your performance, not your potential.

The grades for all courses in the Faculty of Arts and Science are:

              Percentage                                                                Letter Grade 

              90 - 100                                                                    A+
              85 – 89.9                                                                   A
              80 – 84.9                                                                   A-
              77 – 79.9                                                                   B+
              73 – 76.9                                                                   B
              70 – 72.9                                                                   B-
              67 – 69.9                                                                   C+
              63 – 66.9                                                                   C
              60 – 62.9                                                                   C-
              57 - 59.9                                                                    D+
              53 – 56.9                                                                   D
              50 – 52.9                                                                   D-
              0 – 49.9                                                                     F