The purpose of this student workbook is to help you learn the material in the basic anatomy and physiology course you are about to take. If your goal is a career in the health professions, anatomy and physiology will be foundation sciences for your other courses. How much you learn and how well you learn it is up to you, so it is important to remember that real and lasting learning depends on many factors. 1. Keep in mind that two of the best ways to learn something are to take a test on it and to teach it to someone. This workbook has several different kinds of exercises that you can consider tests. Yes, the answers are in the back of the book, but do the exercises first, without looking, especially for the end-of-chapter tests. Then pay attention to anything you may have gotten wrong and try to figure out why (if you can figure out why you made a particular mistake, you will be very unlikely to make that same mistake again). And if a classmate asks you for help, don’t pass up the chance to describe or explain something you know (and listen to yourself as you do). 2. Time. Try to give yourself enough study time to learn effectively.
This may not always be easy, but it is worth striving for. Cramming the night before an exam may work once in a while, but setting aside some time for study every day is usually a much more successful strategy. Keep in mind that our brains consolidate memories while we sleep, so getting a good night’s sleep before an exam can be very helpful. 3. Self-discipline. Try not to be discouraged by the amount of material you have to learn. Keep at it, and you will find that the more you learn, the easier it becomes to learn. At first you will be assembling a small foundation, and then you will build upon it. The more extensive your foundation, the more you can add to it. Wherever possible, make connections between new material and previous material. This will broaden your foundation. The more you practice making connections, the easier it becomes to see and learn new ones. 4. Know when to memorize and when to understand. Some material simply must be memorized, but other material requires true comprehension. For example, each bone in the body has a name, and you will have to memorize the name of each bone and its location in the body. Will this memorization serve a purpose? Indeed it will, for when you learn the actions of muscles, you will have to know the bones to which each muscle is attached. Memorization is often the foundation for comprehension. And if you have made a mental picture of the skeleton, so much the better, adding a visual dimension to learning.