Sunday, June 30, 2024

Examining the Anatomy & Physiology Exam: Chatting with Greg Crowther and Ben Wiggins | TAPP 149

In episode 149 of The A&P Professor podcast, host Kevin Patton chats with Greg Crowther and Ben Wiggins about their work with exams in the anatomy and physiology (A&P) course. They discuss the importance of exams in assessing student learning and the need for exams to be more connected to course objectives. They also mention the challenges of designing exams that are fair and inclusive for all students. Crowther and Wiggins are conducting a survey on A&P exams and encourage listeners to participate to contribute to the understanding of exam practices in the A&P community. The survey can be accessed at

0:00:00 | Introduction

0:00:48 | Introducing Ben & Greg

0:04:17 | The Most Important Thing

0:22:32 | Murray Jensen, HAPS Hero

0:23:46 | Our Motto: Be Prepared

0:41:18 | What's on TAPP at The Corner Pub

0:42:45 | The Next Big Leap: What Is It?

1:00:50 | Staying Connected


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The more we study the more we discover our ignorance. (Percy Bysshe Shelley)


Introducing Ben & Greg

3 minutes Host Kevin Patton introduces guests Greg Crowther and Ben Wiggins.

 Examining the Anatomy & Physiology Exam: Chatting with Greg Crowther and Ben Wiggins


The Most Important Thing in a Course

18 minutes In this segment, Kevin Patton chats with Greg Crowther and Ben Wiggins, two educators passionate about improving exam practices in higher education. They explain their goal of making exams more equitable and less stressful for students and instructors. Kevin notes that Greg and Ben approached him to promote a survey about exam practices, which aims to gather insights from educators. Greg highlights his development of Test Question Templates (TQTs) to create clearer links between learning outcomes and assessment methods. Ben introduces the concept of public exams, which aim to reduce student anxiety by clearly defining the structure of exams in advance. Both educators emphasize the importance of rethinking traditional exam practices to create a fairer, more effective educational system.


Murray Jensen, HAPS Hero

1 minute In this segment, Kevin announces that his friend, Murray Jensen, received the prestigious HAPS President's Medal at the annual Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS) conference. This award honors Murray's extensive mentoring and support of A&P faculty globally. Known for his warm and cheerful personality, Murray is praised for his significant contributions and reliable presence in the A&P teaching community. Kevin congratulates Murray warmly.  

Our Motto: Be Prepared

17.5 minutes This segment continues the conversation by discussing the importance of transparency in exams, noting the high stress and significant impact of exam scores on students' futures. Ben highlights how clear, pre-released materials can help reduce student anxiety and better prepare them for exams. Greg adds that exams should balance high expectations with adequate support, akin to a "warm demander" approach. This method helps students focus on mastering material rather than merely memorizing it, ultimately aiming for fairer and more effective assessments.


What's on TAPP at the Corner Pub

1.5 minutes Kevin Patton shares that podcasting experts once reviewed The A&P Professor podcast and provided valuable feedback that enhanced the listening experience. They likened the podcast to a friendly pub where A&P professors can gather, talk shop, and unwind. Kevin encourages listeners to invite friends to join by searching for The A&P Professor wherever they listen to audio.


The Next Big Leap: What is It?

18 minutes In this segment, the three discuss the concept of being a "warm demander" in the context of A&P exams, emphasizing the importance of thoughtful and well-designed assessments. They highlight the challenges educators face in creating meaningful exams due to time constraints and busy schedules. Ben and Greg share their efforts to gather data on current exam practices through a survey, aiming to identify effective methods and support faculty in implementing these strategies. Kevin encourages listeners to participate in the survey and looks forward to discussing the results in future episodes.




More info about Greg Crowther

More about Ben Wiggins

Test Question Templates Help Students Learn | TAPP 70 (Greg Crowther's strategy)

The Public Exam System: Simple Steps to More Effective Tests (Ben Wiggin's strategy)

Backward Design: The Basics (mentioned in this episode)

The Jigsaw Method Teaching Strategy (mentioned in this episode)

HAPS Educator (journal)

The Case for Transparency | Episode 51

Greg’s STEM songs

Quickly Moving to Remote Delivery—The Musical | Bonus Episode 64b (featuring Greg’s music)

Kevin's Unofficial Guide to the HAPS Annual Conference | 2019 Edition | Episode 42 (featuring Greg’s music)

Promoting Academic Integrity in Our Course | Episode 25 (featuring Greg’s music)

Blueprints for Learning: Justin Shaffer on Structured A&P Course Design | TAPP 148 (a previous episode mentioned in this episode)

Murray Jensen: HAPS President's Medal

About the HAPS President's Medal

Podcast Review Show: The A&P Professor (two podcasting experts review our TAPP podcast)


Production: Aileen Park (announcer),  Andrés Rodriguez (theme composer,  recording artist),  Karen Turner (Executive Editor), Kevin Patton (writer, editor, producer, host).

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