PHYSIOL 2520 - Physiology IIB: Systems & Homeostasis

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2015

Physiological interactions between the nervous system and endocrine system maintain homeostasis and health. Themes in this course are the functions of the central and peripheral nervous system; the renal system (kidney) in regulation of fluid and ion levels; the gastrointestinal tract (gut) in providing nutrition to the body; the endocrine (hormone) system; and integration of the two interacting control systems involving hormonal and neural signaling. In the practical laboratory sessions, students undertake a research project that includes the testing of a hypothesis, review of the relevant research literature, collection and analysis of data, and presentation of results and conclusions. The practical component is supported by on-line workshops that lead to a deeper understanding of research methods, ethical considerations, experimental techniques, and data processing in scientific research.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PHYSIOL 2520
    Course Physiology IIB: Systems & Homeostasis
    Coordinating Unit Physiology
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 3x 1hour lectures, 1x 1 hour tutorial, 1x 4hour practical per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites Any two of the following courses: CHEM 1100; CHEM 1101; CHEM 1200; CHEM 1201; BIOLOGY 1101; BIOLOGY 1201; ANAT SC 1102; ANAT SC 1103
    Assumed Knowledge PHYSIOL 2510
    Course Description Physiological interactions between the nervous system and endocrine system maintain homeostasis and health. Themes in this course are the functions of the central and peripheral nervous system; the renal system (kidney) in regulation of fluid and ion levels; the gastrointestinal tract (gut) in providing nutrition to the body; the endocrine (hormone) system; and integration of the two interacting control systems involving hormonal and neural signaling. In the practical laboratory sessions, students undertake a research project that includes the testing of a hypothesis, review of the relevant research literature, collection and analysis of data, and presentation of results and conclusions. The practical component is supported by on-line workshops that lead to a deeper understanding of research methods, ethical considerations, experimental techniques, and data processing in scientific research.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Elizabeth Beckett

    Course Coordinator: Dr Elizabeth Beckett
    Phone: +61 8 8313 5311
    Email: elizabeth.beckett@adelaide.edu.au
    Location: Room N417, Medical School North

    Lecturer: Professor Andrea Yool
    Phone: +61 8 8313 3359
    Email: andrea.yool@adelaide.edu.au
    Location: Room N405, Medical School North

    Lecturer: Dr Joanne Bowen
    Phone: +61 8 8313 1374
    Email: joanne.bowen@adelaide.edu.au
    Location: Room 410, Medical School North

    Lecturer: Dr Nichola Thompson
    Phone: +61 8 8313 6395
    Email: nichola.thompson@adelaide.edu.au
    Location: Room 404a, Medical School North

    Medical Sciences Teaching Resource Centre
    Phone: +61 8 8313 4732
    Email: mstrc@adelaide.edu.au
    Location: Level 4, Medical School South
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Display an integrated knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles of homeostasis involved in the maintenance of health.
    2 Demonstrate and apply understanding of the concepts of adequate experimental design, experimental controls, sound experimental technique, data analysis and interpretation.
    3 Locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesize information relevant to the testing and evaluation of a scientific hypothesis.
    4 Use contemporary approaches and techniques (including scientific databases, data acquisition equipment and analysis software) to test a scientific hypothesis and for the presentation of research findings.
    5 Use appropriate professional skills (including ethical conduct, teamwork and effective time management) when addressing a scientific problem.
    6 Assemble and communicate research findings in appropriate scientific formats.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1-6
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 4-6
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 2-4
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 5
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 3, 4
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 4-6
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 2, 5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    One of the following textbooks is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (but not REQUIRED):

    Sherwood, Human Physiology: From Cells to Systems (6ed – 8ed) Cengage
    OR
    Silverthorn, Human Physiology: An Integrated Approach (4ed – 6ed) Pearson

    Additional course materials and assessment activities provided on-line (via MyUni Blackboard)
    Recommended Resources
    Individual lecturers within the course will direct students to the appropriate textbook sections and additional resources to support the content of their lectures.

    Course materials (or appropriate references) will be accessible via MyUni course pages.
    Links to additional library resources (including scientific databases such as Pubmed and Medline) will be available via the MyUni course pages in addition to a number of ethics, statistics and referencing guides.

    Information Technology Services:
    http://www.adelaide.edu.au/its/

    MyUni support tutorials for students:
    http://www.adelaide.edu.au/myuni/student/tutorials/
    Online Learning
    The following course materials will be provided online via MyUni:
    - Course handbook
    - Course timetable (including both lecture and practical session timetables)
    - Lecture notes
    - Lecture recordings (audio and video where appropriate)
    - Links to recommended readings
    - Ethics resources and guides
    - Data analysis and statistics resources
    - Supporting materials on experimental design

    The following course assessment activities will be provided online via MyUni:
    - Online research methods practorials and quizzes (3 practorials with quizzes)

    Students can obtain information regarding marks obtained for assessment items via Gradebook on MyUni
    https://myuni.adelaide.edu.au
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lectures
    In lectures the physiological systems which underpin the body's regulation of its internal environment and its responses to external threats are covered. Lecture modules include: the role of endocrine glands and their hormones in the ongoing maintenance of a suitable internal environment; the function of the central and peripheral nervous systems in sensing and responding to changes in the external environment; the gastrointestinal tract in providing nutrition to the body and; the renal system in regulation of fluid and ion levels. The consequences if these control systems become dysfunctional or fail are also considered.

    Revision lectorials (and/or open office tutorial sessions)
    Optional revision class meetings (50 mins duration) with the module lecturer are used to revise concepts from the lectures, answer students' questions, and to provide guidance and feedback on any formative study questions that may be provided by the lecturer. Revision lectorials help students confirm their mastery of concepts, identify areas in which further study will be beneficial and provide students with study questions which reinforce physiological concepts and mechanisms.  

    Online research methods practorials and quizzes
    The practical component of the course is supported by on-line research methods practorials and quizzes, which cover topics that include: ethical considerations, sound experimental design and data analysis methods utilised in scientific research.

    In-lab practical sessions
    In laboratory sessions, students participate in research experiments related to parallel lecture blocks. Students are encouraged to consider how hypotheses are formulated and tested, the importance of keeping up-to-date with relevant research literature and appropriate methods for the collection, analysis and presentation of data.  Thus practical sessions not only help to illustrate and reinforce concepts covered in lecture sessions, but provide a forum for discussion of appropriate research methodology, including appropriate experimental design, controls, the potential for error and working safely and ethically in a research environment.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Contact sessions Number of sessions Duration of each session (hrs) Total hours (hrs/semester)
    Lectures 25 1 25
    Practicals 4 4 16
    Revision lectorials/open office sessions 4 1 4
    In-class exams 3 1 3
    Non-contact Number Expected preparation time (hr)
    Pre-readings and preparation for practicals 4 4 16
    Weekly review of lecture material and associated reading 12 3 36
    Online practorials and quiz completion 3 5 15
    Exam preparation 6 6 36

    Total workload (hrs/semester): 151 
    Expected workload/week (hrs): 11-12
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week Topic Lecture
    Week 1 Endocrine Course Intro & Homeostasis 
    Introduction to Endocrine Signalling
    Hypothalamus & Pituitary
    Week 2 Endocrine (cont’d) Growth hormones & Gonadotropins
    Adrenal Glands & Stress
    Pancreas & metabolism
    Week 3 Endocrine (cont’d) Thyroid & Parathyroid glands
    Endocrine Systems Revision
    Week 4 Nervous systems 
    (+ Endocrine exam)
    Neural Networks
    G-protein coupled receptors
    PAPER A (Endocrine)
    Week 5 Nervous systems (cont’d) Sympathetic Nervous System
    Parasympathetic Nervous System
    Specialisations of the brain
    Week 6 Nervous systems (cont’d) Mind, Memory & Mood
    Nervous System Revision Lectorial
    Week 7 Renal
    (+ Nervous systems exam) 
    Introduction to the renal system
    Filtration
    PAPER B (Nervous systems)
    Week 8 Renal (cont’d) Reabsorption
    Salt & water balance 1
    Week 9 Renal (cont’d) Salt & water balance 2
    Renal regulation of pH
    Renal System Revision Lectorial
    Week 10 Digestive system
    (+ Renal exam) 
    Mouth, pharynx & oesophagus
    Stomach
    PAPER C (Renal)
    Week 11 Digestive system (cont’d) Pancreas & liver
    Intestines 1
    Intestines 2
    Week 12 Digestive system (cont'd) GI disorders
    Digestive System Revision Lectorial
    Week 13 Study week Study week
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    The Physiology IIB: Systems & Homeostasis course provides opportunity for small group discovery experience throughout the semester. Each practical group of 5-7 students works together with an assigned demonstrator (often a post-doctoral fellow or academic staff member). Students are able to discuss the hypothesis being addressed, their research ideas and outcomes with their peers and staff in a small group setting.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Assessment Type Weighting Learning Outcome(s) being addressed
    Paper A in-class exam  Summative  10 
    Paper B in-class exam  Summative  10 
    Paper C in-class exam  Summative  10 
    Paper D  Summative  10 
    Paper E (Integrative Exam)  Summative  15 
    Online practorial quizzes  Summative  2 - 3 
    Practical worksheets  Summative  20  2 - 7 
    Practical demonstrator mark  Summative 
    Revision Skills Exam  Summative  15  2 - 5
    Assessment Detail
    Theory examinations (55% of total course grade
    The theory component of PHYSIOL 2520 is split into 5 separate exams. The first three exams (Papers A-C), each 50 minutes in duration, are in-class exams scheduled throughout the semester to examine the material covered in lecture blocks 1-3. Papers D and E are taken during the end of semester university examination period. Paper D will assess understanding of the 4th lecture block and Paper E will present integrative physiology questions, related to the overall theme of the course. Students must achieve at least 27.5 out of 55 total exam marks (50% in exams) in order to pass the course.

    Individual practical assessments (25% of total course grade) 
    - Online research methods practorial quizzes (6%)- These online activities are designed to reinforce and promote understanding of concepts delivered through online practorial presentations on research ethics, experimental design and statistics. Each of the 3 quizzes contribute 2% to the total course grade.
    - Demonstrator assessment (4%) – The class demonstrator will give each student a score (out of 4) based on criteria that include participation, teamwork, punctuality and attention to occupational health and safety guidelines.
    - Research skills exam (15%) – This exam, also conducted during the end-of-semester examination period, will provide students to demonstrate mastery of concepts from the on-line research methods practorials and practical classes (including ethical considerations, experimental design, data presentation and analysis.

    Group practical assessments (20% of total course grade)
    - Practical worksheets (20%) - Practical worksheets have been designed to guide students through a series of research experiments to study a particular physiological concept, or mechanism.  By working through practical worksheets students will answer questions and complete activities designed to challenge students to consider the underlying physiological mechanisms; the most appropriate analysis methods and presentation of the data collected and their interpretation previously published results (from review of primary research articles). Each student group (4-6 students per group) will complete a worksheet for each of the 4 practical sessions, each weighted at 5% of the total course grade.
    Submission
    Submission process/requirements
    Group practical worksheets should be submitted to the practical class demonstrator by the end of the scheduled practical session with the corresponding coversheet (completed as per instructions) attached.

    Penalties for late submission
    On-line quizzes (and associated materials) will be made available on MyUni at least one week in advance of the quiz deadline. Late submissions are not accepted and will receive no score. Extensions or supplemental assessments will not be provided for on-line quizzes unless there are exceptional extenuating circumstances (at the discretion of the course coordinator).
    Late submissions of any additional assessment items (individual or group) shall be governed according to the School of Medicine late submission policy available on MyUni. This policy will be enforced strictly throughout the course.

    Practical attendance requirements to attain practical group marks
    If a practical is missed due to a medical or exceptional circumstance a Practical Absence Form (available on MyUni course pages) must be completed and submitted to the course coordinator or MSTRC staff member within 1 week of the missed practical if an opportunity to participate in an alternative practical assessment is to be considered.  Failure to submit a completed and signed Practical absence form will result in forfeit of the group worksheet mark for that particular practical class.  

    Staff “turn-around” timeline on assessments (including exam results)
    Wherever possible, staff will endeavour to have assignments and/or examinations marked and grades submitted within two weeks of the submission/examination deadline.

    Provision of feedback to students:
    PHYSIOL 2520 contains multiple assessment tasks that are set, submitted, marked and returned to students within two weeks of submission/completion. Module lecturers will provide feedback on revision study questions in revision lectorials and open office sessions. If used appropriately, formative revision quizzes and study questions have also the potential to provide feedback to students on how they are grasping the concepts covered in lecture sessions.

    Replacement examinations
    Students missing in-class examinations due to medical/compassionate circumstances will be provided with the opportunity to sit replacement examinations at a later date. Applications for replacement examinations will only be considered if the necessary application form (provided on MyUni course pages) has been appropriately completed and submitted to the course coordinator within 5 working days of the original examination date.  Students missing end-of-semester examinations due to medical/compassionate circumstances will be provided with the opportunity to sit replacement examinations at a later date. Applications for replacement examinations will only be considered if the necessary application form has been appropriately completed and submitted to the Faculty of Health Sciences Office within 5 working days of the original examination date.

    Additional examinations
    As 5 independent examination papers (and associated replacement exams) are set for this course, additional examinations (formerly academic supplementary examinations) are not offered to students who fail the course due to a failure to meet an average score of 50% in theory examinations.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

    Student requests for remarking of assignments and/or examinations may apply directly to the course coordinator using an application form provided on request from the course coordinator.
  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

    SELTs will be used to evaluate the course on a yearly basis. The results will be compared with benchmarks established in the Faculty of Science and aggregate reports throughout the University.

    Feedback provided via SELTs and special practical component surveys over the past 3 years have led to the following course modifications:
  • Student Support
    The Medical Sciences Teaching Resource Centre (MSTRC) laboratories (where practical classes are held) and help desk are located on level 4 of the Medical School South building (Frome Road, North Terrace campus).

    The MSTRC facility provides experimental equipment for the labs, and multimedia support for students enrolled in Physiology IIB including self-paced learning guides, videos and other tutorial resources to assist student’s studies.

    MSTRC staff are available to provide assistance with matters relating to Physiology IIB practicals, research projects, assessment task formats and deadlines, and student records.

    The primary point of contact for these issues is:

    Adrian Elliott (MSTRC Coordinator)
    Email: mstrc@adelaide.edu.au
    Phone: 8313-4732
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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