Sketching Lab for Science Courses

Sketching Labs Overview

Basic Anatomy and Physiology is a four credit course. The fourth credit is a lab credit, but for non-majors, we do not complete a formal lab. For this course, we will use sketching as a tool to deepen our knowledge of anatomy and physiology through multimodal and time-consuming activities. While you are sketching, your mind is available to ponder the scientific information you are implementing in concept through lines drawn on the paper. There is great research going on in this arena and I hope to incorporate sketching into my own educational research in the future. 

With that brief introduction, please delight in the sketching labs of this course. Each unit, you will submit one sketch. Find an image in the textbook that interests you. It is particularly helpful to choose a concept you don’t understand well since you will devote consider time to these assignments. For your efforts, know that you will receive full credit for completion. There is no judgment or evaluation of the sketch itself. Each sketch must contain at least five labels with at least one sentence of explanation. If you want to preserve the artistic value of your sketching, you can create a key to impart this labeling information. 


Student examples

Here is an excellent sketch. The drawing is not complex but well-articulated. The labels communicate information and the arrows give a sense of how the chemical messages move through the neuron. 

Student sketch example


Now for the other end of the range of acceptability, a student submitted this drawing, which does not meet my standards, although it does impart biological information, mainly that DNA is not bound in a nucleus in a prokaryote and there are no organelles and prokaryotes are single-celled organisms. See, I can find the good in every submission!  This example just gives you some minimum expectation for these assignments. 

prokaryote student sketch

Sketching Labs Submission Requirements

1. Submit one sketch relevant to the learning outcomes for the unit. 

2. Label the sketch with at least five labels. Include at least one sentence of explanation for each label, for example, regarding the function of the body part or system described. 

3. Ideally, there would be other labels too, but I don’t want to put too many restrictions since some sketches might really not have more than five components to label (for example, a single organelle, or a single muscle cell). 

4. Take a picture of your sketch and upload that picture to the dropbox. 

*We have a final project for the semester. We will really get going on that in November, but thinking ahead, read through the course and if you have an idea about your topic now, you might consider making the sketches that support the topic of your final paper. 

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