Human Anatomy and Physiology I

I.     Course Prefix/Number: BIO 231

       Course Name: Human Anatomy and Physiology I

       Credits: 4 (3 lecture; 3 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

Either BIO 101 or BIO 121 with a minimum grade of C, or one year of high school biology with a minimum grade of C, any option completed within the last five years; demonstrate entry level competency for EGL 090, EGL 097 or EGL 101 by coursework or placement. Recommended: CHM 101 or CHM 105.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Laboratory course presents basic biochemical principles, cytology, histology, immunology, integument system, osteology, arthrology, muscle anatomy and physiology, and anatomy and physiology of spinal cord and peripheral nervous system. Cadavers and other appropriate specimens used. First of two-part sequence. Intended primarily for student in health fields.

IV.   Learning Objectives

After successfully completing this course, a student should be able to:

  1. Apply mechanisms of homeostasis to the regulation of body functions.
  2. Utilize the appropriate relational anatomic terms as they apply to position, plane and location.
  3. Examine basic chemistry of biologically important molecules and reactions.
  4. Differentiate between organelles within human cells.
  5. Compare tissue types by anatomy, physiology and location.
  6. Compare the physiology and anatomy of the major components of the integumentary system.
  7. Analyze the inflammatory process and the role of blood in this process.
  8. Compare the mechanisms of nonspecific immunity with specific immunity.
  9. Differentiate between antibody and cell mediated immunities.
  10. Identify bones and bone markings of axial and appendicular divisions of the skeletal system.
  11. Compare the major anatomical features of bone tissue and the functions of bone tissue.
  12. Classify joints according to structure and function.
  13. Compare major synovial joints by anatomy and physiology.
  14. Compare energy sources used for muscle contraction.
  15. Analyze the events of muscle contraction and relaxation.
  16. Identify principal skeletal muscles on cadavers/models.
  17. Explain the ionic basis of the resting membrane potential and the changes that occur during an action potential.
  18. Examine the steps of synaptic transmission.
  19. Compare excitatory and inhibitory synapses.
  20. Compare reflex pathways.
  21. Differentiate between cranial nerves by location and function.
  22. Identify the major peripheral nerves of the nerve plexi on cadavers/models.
  23. Identify the major components of the spinal cord and a spinal nerve.
  24. Compare the anatomical and physiological components of the autonomic nervous system divisions.

Learning Outcomes

By the completion of your biology courses at Oakton, you will have gained the experience to.....

  1. Think critically – identify, define, analyze, interpret, and evaluate ideas, concepts, information, problems, solutions, and consequences. This includes the ability to compute and comprehend quantitative information and to engage in the scientific process.
  2. Communicate – communicate ideas, concepts, and information through written and oral means. Collaborate with people of diverse backgrounds and abilities.
  3. Demonstrate literacy – demonstrate the ability to read critically within content areas. Use technology to locate, evaluate, and communicate data, information, ideas, and concepts. Assess, critique, and select from a variety of information resources.
  4. Demonstrate responsibility – demonstrate an understanding of personal responsibility and ethical behavior in one’s own academic and civic life.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics


BIO 231 Course Content: Required Topics: these are topics that all A&P faculty must discuss. You may decide to go in more depth or include additional topics as you wish.

Note: some detailed topics may fall into more than one body system and may be presented in more than one body system; you do not have to cover topics in the order listed below.

  1. Gross Anatomy (corresponds to learning objective 2)
    1. Differentiate between body planes: sagittal, frontal, transverse, oblique
    2. Compare terms used to describe relationship of body structures to one another
      1. Medial and lateral
      2. Anterior and posterior
      3. Superior and inferior
      4. Deep and superficial
      5. Proximal and distal
    3. Apply terms of surface anatomy: cranial, axillary, brachial, buccal, etc
    4. Relate organ location to abdominal quadrants and regions
  2. Correlate the mechanisms of homeostasis to maintenance of body functions and correction of body functions (corresponds to learning objective 1)
  3. Basic Chemistry and Cytology (corresponds to learning objectives 3 and 4)
    1. Chemistry
      1. Atoms
      2. Ions
      3. Chemical bonds
      4. Basic types of chemical reactions
      5. pH, acids and bases
      6. Properties of water
      7. Enzymes
      8. Proteins, carbohydrates, lipids
      9. ATP: structure and function
    2. Cytology
      1. Analyze the structure of the cell membrane as it correlates to the functional properties of the cell membrane
      2. Compare cell membrane proteins by function
    3. Membrane Transport: Differentiate between types of membrane transport
      1. Diffusion
      2. Osmosis
      3. Osmolality/osmolarity
        1. Tonicity
      4. Active transport
      5. Endocytosis
      6. Exocytosis
      7. Compare the function and structure of cell organelles
  4. Histology (corresponds to learning objective 5)
    1. Identify major tissues
      1. Epithelium: Subtypes
      2. Connective tissue: Subtypes
      3. Muscle: Subtypes
      4. Nervous tissue: Subtypes
    2. Compare major tissues by function and location
  5. Integumentary System (corresponds to learning objective 6)
    1. Compare anatomy and physiology of skin layers
    2. Differentiate between glands of the integumentary system
    3. Correlate integumentary anatomy and physiology to the inflammatory response
      1. Cardinal signs of inflammation
  6. Immune System (corresponds to learning objectives 8-9)
    1. Compare mechanisms of nonspecific immunity
      1. Complement
      2. Interferons
      3. Cells of nonspecific immunity
      4. Inflammatory response
        1. Compare systemic and local inflammation
    2. Cell Mediated Immune Response
      1. Compare types of T lymphocytes by activation and function
      2. Correlate major histocompatibility complexes to antigen presentation
    3. Humoral Immune Response
      1. Examine structure and functions of antibodies
      2. Classify antibodies by location and function
      3. Compare primary and secondary immune responses
  7. Osteology (corresponds to learning objectives 10-11)
    1. Functions of Bone
      1. Hemopoietic site
      2. Movement and support
      3. Role of bone tissue in regulating blood calcium levels
      4. Protection
    2. Compare the anatomy of compact bone and spongy bone
      1. Bone tissue cells
      2. Synthesis of osteoid
      3. Osteon vs. trabeculae
    3. Identify major structural features of a typical long bone
    4. Analyze steps of fracture repair
    5. Bone Identification
      1. Appendicular Skeleton
      2. Axial Skeleton
      3. Bone Markings-Articular Surfaces, and Points of Attachments, Foramina, Processes, Tubercles and Other Structures
      4. Differentiate between the right and the left of selected bones
  8. Arthrology (corresponds to learning objectives 12-13)
    1. Classify joints by structure and function
    2. Identify major joints of body
    3. Compare subtypes of synovial joints
    4. Correlate the functions of a typical synovial joint to its anatomy
    5. Identify major structures of selected synovial joints
      1. Glenohumeral joint
      2. Femorocoxal joint
      3. Tibiofemoral joint
    6. Analyze movements that occur at synovial joints
      1. Flexion and Extension
      2. Abduction and Adduction
      3. Medial and Lateral Rotation
      4. Pronation and Supination
      5. Inversion and Eversion
      6. Dorsiflexion and Plantar Flexion
  9. Myology (corresponds to learning objectives 14-16)
    1. Energy metabolism of cells
      1. Aerobic Respiration –Glycolysis, Krebs Cycle, Electron Transport Chain
      2. Anaerobic Respiration and Fermentation
      3. Creatine Phosphate
    2. Skeletal Muscle Cell Ultrastructure
      1. Connective tissue network of muscle
      2. Terminology associated with skeletal muscle cell anatomy
      3. Compare slow and fast muscle fibers
    3. Molecular Basis of Muscle Contraction
      1. Sliding Filament theory
        1. Compare myofilaments by structure and function
        2. Compare phases of sliding filament theory
      2. Cross Bridge Interaction Cycle
    4. Skeletal Muscle Responses
      1. All-or-None and Graded Responses
      2. Isometric and Isotonic Contractions
      3. Spatial and Temporal Summation
      4. Tetanus
      5. Treppe
    5. Skeletal Muscles
      1. Identification on cadavers/models
      2. Points of Attachment (Origins and Insertions)
      3. Actions
    6. Compare smooth muscle and cardiac muscle to skeletal muscle
      1. By anatomy
      2. By function
      3. By regulation
  10. Neurology (Corresponds to learning objectives 17-24)
    1. Compare cells of nervous tissue
      1. Compare neuroglia by function and location
      2. Classify neurons by structure and function
      3. Neural Sheaths-Myelin and Neurolemma
    2. Membrane Potentials
      1. Resting membrane potential
      2. Graded potential
      3. Action potential
      4. Compare excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSP) and inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSP)
      5. Compare absolute and relative refractory periods
      6. Compare continuous and salutatory conduction
    3. Synaptic Transmission
      1. Sequence of events
      2. Differentiate between major neurotransmitters of nervous system
      3. Compare excitatory and inhibitory synapses
    4. Reflex Arc
      1. Anatomy of a reflex
      2. Compare terms contralateral and ipsilateral
      3. Compare visceral and somatic reflexes
      4. Differentiate between selected somatic reflexes
    5. Peripheral Nervous System
      1. Identify the major components of a cross-section of the spinal cord and spinal nerve
      2. Identify the major components of the posterior view of the spinal cord
      3. Identify peripheral nerves of the major plexuses on cadavers/models
      4. Correlate peripheral nerves to their muscular innervations
      5. Compare cranial nerves by location and function
      6. Map the divisions of the nervous system
      7. Introduce spinal cord tracts
      8. Compare the overall functions of the parasympathetic and sympathetic divisions of the ANS
      9. Compare the anatomy of the autonomic motor pathways of the sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions


Body System(s)Recommended # of Labs
Gross Anatomy 1
Cytology 1
Histology and Integumentary System 2-3
Skeletal System and Arthrology 3-4
Myology 4-5
Peripheral Nervous System 2-3

VII.  Methods of Instruction

This course will be presented by way of three hours of lecture-discussion period and a three hour laboratory period each week.  Supplementary audio-visual material and handouts are used.  Appropriate materials and techniques will be introduced in the laboratory.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  • Reading: text book, lab manual, handouts
  • Writing:  notes, homework assignments, exams
  • Lab Practices: 3 hours sessions each week
  • Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Textbook: Human Anatomy and Physiology, 10th Edition, Elaine N. Marieb and Katja Hoehn Benjamin-Cummings, 2016.

Laboratory Manual: Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II.   Custom Lab Manual, Bluedoor Publishing, 2015.

Optional:  A Photographic Atlas for the Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory, Fifth Edition, Ken M. Van de Graaff and John L. Crawley

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

This will vary depending on instructor.  In general, methods of evaluation are based on objective/subjective examinations concerning lecture material and practical examinations concerning laboratory material.  Homework assignments and laboratory write-ups may also be included in final course evaluation.  Final grades are determined on a percentage basis.  Percentages below sixty are not passing.

XI.   Other Course Information

This will vary depending on instructor and may include:

  • Review sessions during and outside class time.
  • Sessions with biology tutors.
  • Required lecture and lab attendance.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.