Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary
The text covers all of the content that I would expect to find in a first year Anatomy & Physiology course. The inclusion of a glossary of key terms at the end of each chapter, instead of just at the end of the book, makes the resource easier for students to access.
Comprehensiveness Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased
Overall, the text is accurate and error-free. In some cases, physiological mechanics appear in figures, but the underlying explanation of why these mechanisms function as they do isn’t provided. This context is important and helps with retention of the information; however, it’s reasonably simple to incorporate the bigger picture into lecture material as long as students can use the text to review the minutiae. When describing the leading and lagging strands of DNA replication, for example, the text does not explain the significance of 5’ and 3’ ends of the double helix, which would help to explain an otherwise unnecessarily complex replication pathway. In another section, the text defines essential amino acids and says that there are nine but does not mention which nine; while I would not expect students to retain that information, a comprehensive textbook should also function as an effective reference.
Content Accuracy Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement
Since the text was first published in 2013, there have been two revisions to address various errata. However, the text does not have edition numbers, which makes it slightly more difficult for an instructor to keep track of which version of the text a student may be using. Because the direct download version of this text is always free, versioning is only an issue for people who buy print editions of the text or if instructors do not revise page references if the pagination changes between revisions.
Relevance Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used
The writing is clear and accessible. In cases where there are multiple common terms for a structure, such as the loop of Henle or nephron loop, both terms are provided.
Clarity Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework
The text and terminology are consistent throughout. The illustrations are sometimes inconsistent in style but the choices are effective in creating images that emphasise exactly what each figure is trying to demonstrate.
Consistency Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.
The text largely covers each section so that they can be taught in any order as long as students have sufficient background knowledge. For example, the chapter on cardiac muscle assumes that the reader has the knowledge of muscle tissues provided in an earlier chapter. With the escalating levels of complexity that are usually used as the overarching structure of anatomy and physiology courses, the text must strike a balance between modularity and redundancy.
Modularity Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion
The text follows a standard approach in anatomy and physiology, which is to start at the molecular level and to increase in complexity to cells, tissues, organs and organ systems. The content layout is very similar to the structure and flow used by other popular texts in this field, which I don’t see as a negative.
Organization Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader
The text has unutilized space, such as white spaces above or below figures and large yellow link-boxes. While this works in an electronic document where “pages” are not significant, it makes the physical copy of the book appear somewhat odd and inefficient. The white spaces make the book feel incomplete rather than spacious.
Interface Rating: 3 out of 5
Q: The text contains no grammatical errors
I was not able to find any grammatical errors in the text.
Grammar Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds
While I did not find the text to be culturally offensive, the photos and illustrations primarily feature people of European descent, as much as things like skin tone and facial features are shown. There is diversity in some photos and a small number of illustrations, but it may not be representative of all students.
Cultural Relevance Rating: 2 out of 5
Q: Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?
The text uses American English rather than Canadian English spelling.