Biology 47 - Home / Announcements - Fall 2017

Date Posted Announcements (in reverse chronological order)
19 Sep 2017 Several students have found that there is not enough space to label all of the bones and bone landmarks associated with the skull on the single page of pictures in the course manual. A copy of that page is available here for your convenience - skull images
15 Sep 2017 Quiz #3 is scheduled for Wednesday September 20th at the start of lecture.
Approx. Breakdown: 70% Skeletal System: General Bone Structure & Histology (see chpt 5 and lab 5 pp. 1-6), 30% Axial Skeleton: Skull (see chpt 6 and lab 5 pp. 6-9).
15 Sep 2017 Homework #2
Learning Preferences Assignment: Due by Wednesday September 20th, in lab.
Step 1: Print out the Learning Preference Assignment Sheet here
Step 2: Go to the VARK learning styles web page and complete the questionnaire.
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Step 3: Review some of the study resources listed on the assignment sheet and briefly summarize one or more of the recommended study strategies presented for your learning preference. Turn in the assignment sheet by the due date.

Be sure to record your numerical results on the Assignment Sheet and turn it in on the due date
15 Sep 2017 TIP Regarding Study Resources (also see "Study Tips" notice from 30 August below)

As we start into the study of gross anatomy, a common question students often have is, how can I study these materials when I am out of class? Purchasing your own anatomical models and specimens is not realistic, but there are options. Some are listed in the syllabus and include photo-atlases and coloring books. However, IF these are not enough, one HIGHLY recommended resource is the study room in the biology building (SM 55F). There are some materials (on a rotating basis) that will be placed in the study room as well as a small library and computer terminals. This is a great place for group study!

In addition, there are digital resources that will mimic the 3D nature of real anatomical specimens. There are, infact, many apps of this type. Although I am not attempting to promote one to the exclusion of all others, there are two that I have used and can recommend as a quality resource. You may find others you prefer or find that digital anatomy study aids are NOT for you. Both of the programs that I can recommend are very similar in that they display anatomical structures in 3D, letting you isolate one structure, or groups of structures, rotate them in any direction and, especially helpful, fade structures in and out so that you see the structures position in relation to everything else from any angle you want. Unfortunately neither program will include labels for all landmarks that you will be required to know, but they both do a great job recreating the 3D experience. Both should be available for Mac OS, Android and Windows platforms.

(1) The first one that I can recommend is from 3D4Medical. Visit the "3D4Medical" website by following the link below to learn more:

(2) The second one that I can recommend is Visible Body: 3D Human Anatomy. Visit the "Visible Body" website by following the link below to learn more:
10 Sep 2017 Exam #1 is scheduled for Wednesday September 13th in lab.
Please refer to the study guide for information on exam times and exam composition (i.e. list of topics and proportions). Refer to the course manual (also lecture notes & outlines) for a guide to what you need to know (note: the course manual is your primary study guide). Check your current grade here (grade reports are usually available 1-11/2 weeks after the exam).
7 Sep 2017 Quiz #2 is scheduled for Monday September 11th at the start of lecture.
Approx. Breakdown: 30% Connective Tissue Histology (see chpt 3 and lab 3), 15% Muscle & Neural Tissue Histology (see chpt 3 and lab 3), 55% Cytology: the Cell (see chpt 2).
1 Sep 2017

Quiz #1 is scheduled for Wednesday September 6th at the start of lecture.
Approx. Breakdown: 45% Body Organization and Terminology (see chpt. 1 and lab 1), 35% Histology - Epithelial Tissues (see chpt 3 and lab 3), 15% Cytology: the Cell (see chpt 2 - just what was covered in lecture), 5% Microscopes (see lab 2).

Note: Quizzes are worth 20 points (20 questions), cover topics from both the lecture and the lab, and will include true/false, multiple choice, fill-in and identification questions. The identification question(s) will be based on diagrams on your quiz sheet and projected on screen. All questions will be answered on the quiz form (no scantron needed). You will have approximately 10-15 minutes to complete the exam.

30 Aug 2017

Study Tips: Time and active repetition are key elements that cannot be overlooked when attempting to learn anything, particularly memory intensive material like anatomy. The more time you spend actively reviewing the material, the more likely it is to stick. This does not mean reading the same thing over and over again. What it means is, going over the same information in a different, thus an active, way (meaning, you have to think about it). Most of what you will learn in anatomy will rely on memorization but some will also depend on your understanding concepts so they can be applied. Memorization is primarily a result of rote repetition but rote repetition will not help you understand concepts. Memorizing AND understanding concepts depends on repetition AND active thinking. Ask yourself, "what is this similar to?", "have I ever experienced this?", "what makes this special or stand out?", "where is this located / what is this near?", "can I feel this on my own body (or a willing partners)?", "what does it do?", "what makes this important to know" etc.

1st repetition - read the text / course manual reading assignment - while reading:
(a) think about what you understand and what you don't (mark what you don't understand and ask for clarification),
(b) think about what is important to remember, select that word, sentence or paragraph and highlight it. The process of actively selecting out and highlighting sections provides a guide for future review, but more importantly the active role increases retention the first time you read it.
(c) look at all the illustrations and identify all of the structures you are expected to know (i.e. highlight all of the labels).

2nd repetition - attend lecture / lab and take notes - yes, it is the same material but presented in a new format. The process of taking notes (writing down selected lecture info, not writing everything that is said, is an active process - again you must be thinking about it). This is also an important opportunity to ask questions.

3rd repetition - review the text, the course manual and your notes and create a summary sheet (the lecture outlines and course manual are designed for this purpose). Again you will be reviewing the same information in an active way (you must think about how to write it in a summary format that is complete and makes sense to you).

4th repetition - participate in the lab activities - this is a chance to experience the concepts described in the text and the lecture. It is the ONLY time when you will be able to seak out and find the structures you are expected to know on real specimens. Pictures alone will not work, use the lab time to actively go over ALL of the available lab materials (models, microscopes, cadavers etc...). The lab is also the best time to get help from the instructor.

5th repetition - answer all of the questions in the course manual (not to be turned in). This is good practice and will help identify what you understand and what you don't. These can be done as a group exercise as they can function as discussion points.

6th repetition - FORM STUDY GROUPS! - get together with one or two other students and review all that you have studied (caution: use study groups for review of what you have already studied, NOT as a way to study for the first time). Doing this weekly is ideal, the amount you will need to review will be smaller and more manageable than when study groups are used once just before the exam (although, an exam review is still beneficial).

This will all take a lot of time and effort. Expect to devote some time to studying anatomy EVERY DAY (close to 20 hours per week). Don't stop when you think you can remember it, keep reviewing until you know it with confidence!

Additional - get assistance - tutoring is available through the tutorial center ( and/or you can ask questions during office hours.
30 Aug 2017 Don't forget that you have two assignments due by Sep 11th (assignments can be completed and turned in any time up to the deadline):
1) Complete the Student Information Sheet passed out during the first class meeting (1/2 sheet of paper)
2) Take the Syllabus Quiz (download the quiz from the "downloads" page, print it and answer the questions).
30 Aug 2017 Note: Lab Manuals are needed for every lab. If you have not purchased your Lab Manual (i.e. you are waiting to see if you can add), you can download and print the first few labs from the course webpage. Please be sure to come to lab prepared:

Welcome to Biology 47 - Human Anatomy (5 units)
Lecture 3 hours; lab 6 hours
Prerequisite: Bio 10 or Bio 11 or successful completion of an equivalent high school biology course. (Course should include an overview of cellular structure, cellular function, cell division and the scientific method.) Note: Bio 11 - Human Biology is highly recommended and may be a transfer requirement for some programs.
Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

Get a Head Start | Student Services | Purchasing Course Books

This course intended for pre-health professionals and covers the principles and concepts of human anatomy through the comprehensive study of the gross and microscopic structure of the human body. Lab will consist of HUMAN CADAVER examination, dissection of various specimens (possibly including cats), and microscopic examination of human tissues.


First Class Meeting - Monday August 28th, 2017 (Fall semester begins - MondayAugust 28th)
DO NOT miss the first days of class! Enrolled students who fail to attend the first days of class may be dropped to make room for students trying to add.

Note: This class includes both lecture and lab every Monday and Wednesday. Class will meet for the full scheduled lecture and lab on the first day!

Things to do to get a head start :

  • Read over the complete Syllabus (green sheet) before coming to class.
  • Read over the Lab Safety Sheet.
  • Complete the Syllabus Quiz (access on Angel Website)
  • Read Lab 1 - Intro/Terminology and Lab 2 - Microscopes in preparation for the first lab meeting.
  • Purchase your books (see syllabus and note below) and start reading (reading assignments).
  • Learn your way around campus and the biology building - see the campus map

  • Note: all of the above documents are available for download from the "Downloads" page of this website.


    Student Resources
    As a registered student you have a host of resources on campus that are available to you, many free of charge. The following is a partial list (for a complete list please refer to the college catalogue or the student services section of the college web page).

    Admissions and Records General Support Services Campus Facilities
    Application for admission Counseling Center Bookstore
    WVC Portal (registration) Health Services Library
      Financial Aid  
    Academic Support Services  
    CANVAS Learning Management System (LMS)
    Tutorial Services  
    Disability & Educational Support Program (DESP)  
    Extended Opportunity Programs & Services (EOPS)  


    Purchasing Course Books:
    Required Books (see syllabus for additional recommended & optional books and supplies):

    Martini, F.H., R. B. Tallitsch and J. L. Nath. Human Anatomy, 9th ed., Pearson Benjamin Cummings, 2018. (note: older editions and alternate texts may be acceptable, check with the instructor. The version available in theWest Valley College bookstore will include an access code for an online study resource called Mastering Biology which is included free but is not required for this course).

    Norris, N. Biology 47: Human Anatomy Course Manual, West Valley College Biology Department. 2017. (note: The lab manual is required for the lab and is only available from the West Valley College bookstore).

    Several purchasing options are available to you.

    West Valley Campus Bookstore: You can Purchase all of the books listed in the greensheet directly from the bookstore located on West Valley campus. The bookstore also provides an online service in case you do not want to go there in person (WVC bookstore). You can reserve the books to pick them up later or make arrangements for home delivery. Note: bookstore profits help fund the campus center - purchasing your books from the campus bookstore will help support the campus center.

    Ordering online (new or used): I am aware that book prices are exorbitant. If book prices are out of your budget there may be alternatives to buying new copies. One option to save money is to order books online from discount suppliers. The down side is that it can take several days, or possibly weeks, for your books to arrive depending on the vendor, and you will need the "required books" on the first day of class. Consequently, unless you have ordered your books several weeks in advance, this option may better serve you for the purchase of the "optional books" listed in your syllabus. The following online vendors may prove to be good resources:

    Other Local Bookstores: A less commonly successful but useful alternate is to search the local new and used bookstores in the area (including other campus bookstores) for the books you need. I have periodically found useful resource books at a significant discount at used bookstores.

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