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Vision and Change Teacher-Recommended Collection: Renal Physiology

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Description Collection Description
This collection is designed to help students gain a deeper understanding of the difficult concepts of renal physiology.

How were the items in this collection used?
Prior to the lecture on renal physiology, students were required to complete an online assignment in preparation for an in-class quiz. They viewed the two videos, completed the kidney tutorial, completed readings from their textbook, then completed two practice quizzes assigned from Web Anatomy. When they returned to class, I lectured on the subject about half the class then gave a quiz as described in the article "The Rapid Response..." I did not use the concept map but left it in the collection, as it is a useful tool for this topic.

Who used this collection?
This collection was used in undergraduate part 2 Anatomy and Physiology lecture class.

Which of the V&C Core Concepts does this collection address?
Evolution ('The diversity of life evolved over time by processes of mutation, selection, and genetic change.')
The tutorial discusses why land creatures need kidneys as opposed to water animals.

Structure & Function ('Basic units of structure define the function of all living things.')
The structure of the nephron is optimized for the job of the countercurrent mechanism.

Information Flow, Exchange, and Storage ('The growth and behavior of organisms are activated through the expression of genetic information in context.')
Hormonal controls affect the movement of water and solutes in urine formation.

Pathways and Transformations of Energy and Matter ('Biological systems grow and change by processes based upon chemical transformation pathways and are governed by the laws of thermodynamics.')
Movement of water and solutes through the nephron tubes occurs by different cellular transport mechanisms.

Systems ('Living systems are interconnected and interacting.')
Lack of removal of wastes leads to a breakdown in homeostasis and dysfunction throughout the body. In addition, land creatures must be able to remove wastes while retaining water.

Which of the V&C Core Competencies and Disciplinary Practices does this collection address?
Ability to Use Quantitative Reasoning ('Biology relies on applications of quantitative analysis and mathematical reasoning.')
Movements of solutes and water affect the osmolality of the renal medulla, blood and other body fluids. .

Ability to Use Modeling and Simulation ('Biology focuses on the study of complex systems.')
Demonstrates regulation of the blood acid/base balance, K+ and Ca+ homeostasis, body fluid balance and blood pressure regulation.

Ability to Tap into the Interdisciplinary Nature of Science ('Biology is an interdisciplinary science.')
Kidneys work in blood pressure maintenance, which demonstrates their interaction with the cardiovascular system. The endocrine system affects renal function, which demonstrates the interaction of the two systems.

Ability to Communicate and Collaborate with Other Disciplines ('Biology is a collaborative scientific discipline.')
Gaining an understanding of renal function may help students when they continue their studies in health care sciences.

Ability to Understand the Relationship between Science and Society ('Biology is conducted in a societal context.')
Health care relationship.

Please enter suggestions for colleagues.
Students found the assigned activity very helpful in understanding this topic, especially after confusion produced by only reading the textbook. The tutorial is excellent, but students thought it was a little too long. Since this is a difficult area of physiology for students to understand, I suggest adding a graded aspect to the use of the resources as an incentive for them to complete the activity. This enables students and instructors to gauge student understanding prior to the heavier weighted examination.

Type of Resource Annotated Collection
Format Multiple Formats
Deborah Miller, D.C., Chattahoochee Technical College
Grade/Age Levels Undergraduate lower division (Grades 13-14)
Undergraduate upper division (Grades 15-16)
Learning Time 2-3 hours
Language English
Type of Review Reviewed by Partner Organization

Resources in Collection
Click on any teaching resource's title for detailed information.
Web Site Links
Renal Physiology
Video demonstration of renal physiology.


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Great Collection; small but opens up the students to the subject and allows them to explore further


Thanks for the helpful updated information, Julie!

—Deborah Miller, D.C., Chattahoochee Technical College

Overall this was a really good collection. I especially like the rapid response technique of posting around 10 short true/false statements during class to see if students are having any difficulties with concepts and if so, addressing them. I also like the urinary system concept map. It will be a good review for my second-year pathophysiology students before we investigate diseases and disorders.

The explanations of how she had used the various activities, changes she made to any acitivy to suit her purpose, or why in the end she didn't use an activity are very useful. I also appreciate the in depth explanations of how the activities meet the Vision and Change Core Competencies.
There were a few issues I had with this collection that could be improved upon. Blausen.com no longer permits direct links to specific videos, so the link for the Function of the Nephron is broken. The second video, although informative, covered the material much to quickly for many students.

Finally, I wish the date collections were created were included. The animation activity seems quite dated. The animations associated with Anatomy and Physiology textbook websites are much better. Openstax's free Anatomy and Physiology Textbook (you can download the PDF from their website), has links to great YouTube videos.

—Julie Dais, Okanagan College