To complete Alison Sauter’s online Anatomy and Physiology class students are required to either complete a service learning project or submit an annotated bibliography that aligns with one of the essential objectives of the course. Because of the significant time commitment involved in the coursework, many students choose to create the bibliography. But last fall Blake McGee, who took the class while living in South Africa, created a service learning project that significantly expanded the definition of “CCV community.”
“This project shows service learning at its best,” said Heather Weinstein, director of Student Support Services. “It is a wonderful example of how students can apply what they have learned to deepen their own knowledge, expand their skill set, and also serve and educate others.”
McGee taught a lesson in basic human anatomy and physiology to 40 children (ages 5-19) at the Karabo Asara HIV Orphanage Centre in a village near Pretoria, South Africa. His class included an interactive presentation and small group projects, where students created models of major body organs labeled in English and the local languages Tswana and Zulu. The class provided an overview of the key functions of major organs of the body; included a discussion of the brain, sensory and motor neurons, skeletal muscles, and bone; and integrated health education messages (the importance of exercise to muscle and bone, damage cigarette smoke causes to lungs, etc.). The students broke into small groups to create cutouts of major organs and then pasted them onto the outline of a human body.
“Blake’s work stretched CCV’s concept of reaching out to community,” said his instructor Alison Sauter. “He provided a service that shared knowledge and allowed new learning in a ‘worldwide community’: for the South African individuals he worked with, for our classroom, and for himself (as a learner).”