Robert Stephenson

PSL 534/535: Cell Biology and Physiology I/II

PSL 534

Joint offering by 3 departments: Physiology, Anatomy/Radiology, and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

PSL 534/535 serves more than 300 students per semester and is a multidisciplinary required course for students in human and osteopathic medicine. The course is believed to be a unique integration of histology, physiology, biochemistry, and molecular biology into a single integrated conceptual framework for understanding the structure and function of organs and organ systems in health and disease. All aspects of the course emphasize clinical applicability.

PSL 534/535 is a technological tour de force including 89 one hour edited and indexed online lectures (also available live, face to face), 18 fully online virtual microscopy lab sessions completed in scheduled labs in groups of 3 students and available online for individual review to promote self study and mastery. Group members are randomly selected to explain their answers during live sessions to the rest of the class, a form of peer instruction. The course pack is a 2000 page study guide/workbook. PSL 534/535 uses LON-CAPA for 9 graded problem sets. On ANGEL practice exams and supplementary materials are available. Email Q&A with faculty supplements scheduled help sessions. Faculty use tabletPCs while they lecture, allowing for live annotation of PowerPoint slides. Students can download media files or watch them in streaming mode. Students can use Windows Media Player to speed up or slow down playback. The lectures have interactive indexes allowing easy navigation between slides.

PSL 534/535 is supported by regular student surveys, used to improve the course. Over 80% of students used the online basic science lectures. Over 50% used the online lectures in addition to attending live class. Many students appreciated the variable playback speeds. The course accommodates different learning styles.


Professor Robert Stephenson
Additional Faculty: Connie Osborn, Frances Kennedy, Gail Shafer-Crane, Wendy Lackey, John Wang, Harvey
Sparks, Laurie Kaufman, Laura McCabe, William Spielman
Staff: Mark Hodgins, Geraud Plantegenest, Darshak Thakore, Douglas Waggot, Patti Wilkins
Colleges of Human Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine

Best Blended Course

“…from molecules to man.”

– Robert Stephenson –