of the interactions between the skeletal, nervous, and muscular systems that produce common functions.
Of the 28 students enrolled in Anatomy and Physiology I class in
the Spring Semester of 2016, 20 (71.4%) provided feedback and
rated the activity after completion of modules. No incentives were
given for the students’ responses to the modules. Surveying was
done using the Likert scale from 1 to 5, with 1 being strongly dis-
agree and 5 being strongly agree. Table 3 shows the questions that
were asked for the survey and the students’ responses.
Students submit their finished work on each lab module before starting
their lab activities on the same topic. The majority of the students agree
that Module 1 (skeletal structures), Module 2 (cranial nerves), and
Module 3 (facial and neck muscles) are relatively straightforward.
However, Module 4 (putting it all together) requires more time to complete. In addition, students comment that the actual hands-on group
lab activity using skull bone models with pipe cleaners as cranial nerves
(Figure 4) is very informative. The process of making posters using all
the resources from Modules 1–4 and pictures taken from the lab activities reinforces their understanding of the linkage between the three
organ systems of skeletal, nervous, and muscular functions in the head
for specific actions such as smiling (Figures 5 & 6). Students’ responses
to the survey on the modules show that they saw improvements in
their understanding of anatomical relationships and physiology based
on the activities described in this paper. Students find linking form
and function of different body systems to be challenging. This is particularly true in the head region, which has diverse sensory and motor
functions taking place in a relatively small area as well as numerous
bone markings to be mastered. After activities structured around the
city of Brainington, students said that they better understood anatomy
and physiology of the region. They said that the activities helped their
understanding more than the lecture or textbook study.
In conclusion, linking different anatomical structures for effector functions can be very complex to Anatomy and Physiology I
students. The four modules presented a creative way of developing
an understanding of body system interactions. This method provided students an enjoyable way of understanding effector functions in the cephalic region by the interactions of different organ
systems. If desired, the Brainington analogy could be extended to
other body regions and systems. For example, the environment of
the city of Brainington makes contracts with other areas of the
Figure 4. Laboratory hands-on activities using anatomy model
of the skull and pipe cleaners as cranial nerves. Superior view of
cranial floor of cranial cavity is shown. Pipe cleaners were labeled
with cranial nerve numbers of I–XII, and students positioned them
through the correct cranial foramina (Marieb & Smith, 2016).
Smiling Action: Nervous:
CN VII: Facial
Figure 5. Smiling action by linking three organ systems of cranial nerves, skeletal markings, and facial muscles for sensory and
motor functions of the head and neck (smiling action shown) (Marieb & Smith, 2016).