Help File

The Developmental Biology of the Skin Interactive Teaching Module has been developed for use in the Human Biology 567 Skin System course offered in the Fall Quarter of the second year of medical school at the University of Washington.

Developmental biology has been a difficult subject to teach in a traditional lecture format. The amount of factual information taken with the complexity of its organization has made presentation of this material by faculty and retention for application by students very challenging. The developers of this curriculum felt that if students were given the opportunity to explore this subject at their own pace in whatever order made the most sense to them, that our teaching objectives could be better met. Development was supported by funds awarded to the authors from the Dean's Office, for which we are grateful.

Though this module has been tested by the authors at every opportunity, this course is its maiden voyage. We therefore expect to encounter a number of problems. Accordingly, the ability for you to e-mail us with your comments, observations, and problems has been built in. We hope you will communicate with us often. We will be able to fix many of the programming bugs while the module is in use.

What you absolutely, positively, have to know for the exam at the end of this course is contained in the section accessed through the button near the top of the screen labeled "Key Concepts." If you limit yourself to memorizing this dry text, however, you will leave this course without having internalized the concepts and the time spent will have been mostly wasted.

The information contained in this module will continue to be updated and modified, and more images will be added. This teaching module will therefore serve you as a reference which you may access at any time during your medical education. During this course, however, you will be asked to solve several real-life clinical problems which demonstrate the power of understanding and using this knowledge. These problems will be presented to you in Dr. Francis' lecture on Friday, September 13. You should try to work through as much of this module as you can by that time to gain the most from her presentation.

To begin, click either the Index button or the Timeline button and follow your nose. You may (and are encouraged to) send yourself e-mail with notes and comments. You may select text and send it to yourself as well. The Quiz button will bring up a short list of questions which have been embedded in the text. We may add more questions to this list if we identify (from your e-mail) consistent problems in understanding the material presented. Asking another question allows us to formulate an answer using different words than have already been written. When you have completed your work with the module, please take a few minutes and fill out the survey form (Survey button).

A final warning and a final encouragement. Don't feel like you have to memorize every fact in this module. It can't be done in the time frame of this course. We wouldn't want you to do that, anyway. What you will probably notice from using this module are the same things that amaze us about developmental biology of the skin: 1. it all happens so fast; 2. the formation of hair follicles, apocrine glands, and eccrine glands, have common themes; 3. it isn't complete when we're born; 4. for all this study, what we don't know is still very much greater than what we do know; and 5. it really is cool.

Click Here to return to Index.