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Random Thoughts on Instructional Design

Web Based Learning Modules: Anatomy & Physiology

This page contains a number of very interesting anatomy and physiology resources that can be utilized in courses — many providing resources that were free for adoption.

General Anatomy Resources

  • Anatomy Dissections – Site contains 27 dissection videos that run from 8-35 minutes in length. Materials maintained by the Department of Anatomy at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
  • Argosy Medical Animations – site contains a number of high quality animations
  • Artificial Anatomy by the Smithsonian – contains some interesting remediation tools
  • CVMD Cardiovascular Multimedia Information Network (contains some interesting procedure videos)
  • Get Body Smart – an online examination of human anatomy and physiology
  • Gray’s Anatomy of the Human Body Online at (flat pages with great graphic images)
  • Human Anatomy Online (highly recommended site)
  • Library of Anatomical Resources (have to create an account to download the movies)
  • Medical Gross Anatomy Atlas Images – Site developed by the University of Michigan. Site provides a series of high quality annotated images.
  • Surface Anatomy – Medical gross anatomy site developed by the University of Michigan. Roll over the images with your mouse to see additional information.

Blood System

  • Atlas of Hematology – provides a number of high quality smears from blood and bone marrow samples. Site developed by Dr. Nivaldo Medeiros at Hospital do Cancer, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • Blood types Tutorial – " The Human Genetics Tutorial with problem solving exercises concerning the inheritance of the ABO blood group alleles." Site developed by the Biology Project at the University of Arizona.
  • Genes & Blood Types – Site developed by the Genetic Science Learning at The University of Utah.
  • Hemophilia – DNA Learning Center's multimedia guide to hemophilia.
  • Hemostasis – tutorial developed by McGraw Hill
  • The Hemoglobin Page – Page provides an overview of hemoglobin structure and carrying functions. This site is highly text driven with a limited number of hypertext links. Material developed and maintained by David Currie at East Tennessee State University.

Blood Vessels

  • Baroreceptors response – tutorial developed by the University of Warwick
  • Blood Pressure Measurement – interactive developed by Victoria College which allows the viewer to practice taking blood pressures
  • Blood Pressure Measurement  – toutorial, simulations, and reinforcement quiz developed by Sports Health (activity last updated 10/2005)
  • Blood supply arteries & veins – This page provide limited information on the brain's arterial blood supply – the flash based demonstrations are very interesting. Site developed by the Department of Pathology at Duke University.
  • Circle of Willis – site contains a flash animation showing structure, blood flow and function of the Circle of Willis.
  • Coronary Artery Plaque Development – movie developed by
  • Cracked Plaque Formation – movie developed by
  • Fetal Circulation System – The site allows the user to interact with animations representing fetal and postnatal circulation and provides a multiple-choice post test that is automatically graded. Materials were designed by Valerie Dean O'Loughlin at Indiana University.
  • Foetal Circulation – The site provides well designed graphics and both audio and written explanations for the graphics. Developed at the University of Central Lancashire for their online Nursing program.

The Heart

  • The Auscultation Assistant – provides heart sounds, heart murmurs, and breath sounds in order to help medical students and others improve their physical diagnosis skills. Tool developed by Christopher Cable at the University of California.
  • Cardiothoracic Imaging – site provides a series of anatomy and imaging technology interactives. Site was developed by a team at Yale University School of Medicine.
  • Cells Alive – Site contains a number of interactives, puzzles, quizzes, and stock video library that can assist students in learning about living cells and organisms. Site designed by Jim Sullivan.
  • Cyberheart – Site contains a series of interactives and self-tests on basic heart anatomy. Developed by J. Crimando at GateWay Community College.
  • ECG Library – Site contains "a library of ECG recordings, many in full 12-lead format. To display the images on a computer screen some of the clarity is lost but those that are shown have been chosen carefully to prevent any loss of important detail. The size of larger files is shown." Developed by Dean Jekins, medical registrar Auckland, New Zealand, and Stephen Gerred, Specialist Registrar, Llandough Hospital, Cardiff, Wales.
  • Electric Heart – this companion web site to the NOVA program "Electric Heart" contains a map of the human heart, interviews and a virtual transplant interactive.
  • Habits of the Heart – site contains a series of heart animations and interactives. Product developed by the Science Museum of Minnesota.
  • Heart and Blood Vessel Basics – Site contains illustrations, animations, and interactive activities to assist patients understand how a healthy heart works. Developed by the Guidant Corporation.
  • Heart Interactives by
  • InVision Guide to a Healthy Heart – interactive tutorial developed by Novartis provides a series of wonderful graphics and engaging interactives.
  • Visible Heart – Site provides a "tool for observing how a real heart works from within. You can see a beating heart, all the valve actions, the contractions of atria and ventricles, and the architecture of the heart as it beats." Developed by University of Minnesota Medical School.

Reinforcement Exercises

  • Arrhythmias  by
  • Blood Flow through the Human Heart developed by Sumanas Inc.
  • Cardiac Procedure and Condition Animation Library developed by Sutter Davis Hospital – site provides a select set of step-by-step educational animations to learn more about heart conditions and procedures.
  • Electrocardiogram by
  • Electrocardiogram Game – This Flash 6 based game lets the user explore the key elements of the Electrocardiogram. Game developed by
  • Heart Attack by
  • Heart Blood Flow by
  • Heart Drag and Drops by Arthur Harwood
  • Heart Beat – Electric  by
  • Hyper Heart by Knowledge Weavers – Flash tutorial detailing bloodflow, aortic/ventricular volumes and pressures present in a normal cardiac cycle. Also included are an electrocardiogram and heart sounds graph.
  • Open Heart Surgery – in this interactive the viewer assumes the role of the surgeon in coronary bypass surgery.


Respiratory System

  • Breath of Life – site provides "an exhibition that examines the history of asthma, the experiences of people with asthma, and contemporary efforts to understand the disease." Maintained by the National Library of Medicine.
  • The R.A.L.E. Repository presents digital recordings of respiratory sounds in health and disease.
  • Teach Your Patients About Asthma: A Clinician's Guide – developed by the National Asthma Education Program Office of Prevention, Education, and Control National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute National Institute of Health Bethesda, Maryland. Contains teaching notes, learning records, and patient worksheets.

 Urinary System

Immune System

Animal Dissection

  • Virtual Pig Dissection – This site provides a series of interactive shockwave based study guides and reinforcement quizzes on pig dissection. The product was developed at Whitman College by Earl W. Fleck, Ph.D. (VPD Creator and Supervisor), Ben Houston (Programming, Production, and Design), Miso Mitkovski and Mike Horn (Photography and Content), and Bob Schaeffer, MD (Consultant).
  • Cat Anatomy Tutorial – "This tutorial was designed to be used by college students studying cat anatomy. It should not be used to replace hands-on experience in the laboratory. It is intended to enhance the laboratory experience and provide an alternate frame of reference for learning. Before beginning each section of the tutorial students should have already examined the material in some detail in the laboratory." Site developed by Pat Heithaus at Kenyon College.
  • Virtual Autopsy – This interactive site provides 18 case studies. Users are required to determine the cause of death based on the materials. If they select the correct answer, they will be given the option of selecting another case or viewing several anatomy & physiology mini-tutorials. If the user selects the wrong answer they will be prompted to re-assess the case. The product was developed by the University of Leicester. Please review the copyright information before integrating the site into your lesson plans.

Games & Other Interactive Assessment Tools

  • Anatomy & Physiology Animations -site houses a collection of learning interactives developed by Pearson Education
  • Blood Typing Game – In this flash 5 based game the player has to blood type each patient and give them a blood transfusion. Game developed by
  • Crack the Code Game – Players translate codons into the "protein language" representing amino acids. Additional support materials for the game can be found on the Nobelprize educational site.
  • DNA – The Double Helix Game – This Flash 6 based game allow the player to make copies of DNA molecules and find out which organism the genetic material belongs to. Game developed by
  • HBO Autopsy – site explores five historical autopsies through film, virtual environments, and historical timelines.
  • Human Anatomy – this site provides study guides for the skeletal, muscular, digestive, circulatory, urogenital, and nervous systems. The materials were developed by Dr. James Strauss at Penn State University for his Biology 129 class.
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology Interactive Activities – site maintained by RM Chute at North Harris College
  • Lung Toxicology Problem set – developed by the University of Arizona
  • Medical Gross Anatomy Games – some interesting reinforcement activities can be found here (I have to admit that I downloaded some of the games and played with them.) Most of games on this site are free for adoption and would be easy to implement into the classroom or in online courses.
  • Mouse Genetics – This simulation provides an introduction to mouse genetics where the basics of probability and statistics are presented before you choose which mice to breed for multiple generations. Determine the genetics that control the fur and eye color of the offspring.
  • The Incredible Megacell Game – players explore cells and their organelles. This flash 6 based game was developed by

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This entry was posted on February 10, 2008 by in Learning Units.

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