Anatomy and Physiology I – Human

Anatomy and Physiology I – Human

Distance Learning Course of 12 Lessons

Course Description

This six-week online course begins with an explanation of the nature of matter and a review of the principles of chemistry that are important to human physiology. We’ll place an emphasis on the organization of the human body and the differences between nonliving matter and living organisms. We’ll also cover cell anatomy and physiology because all life processes are ultimately carried out at the cellular level. You’ll also learn principles of genetics and gain an understanding of how traits are passed from one generation to the next.

After we’ve established this foundation, we’ll survey the anatomy and physiology of each of our 11 organ systems. You’ll learn how our nervous system allows us to receive, process, and interpret sensation and send messages to our muscles and glands. We’ll cover the skeletal and muscular systems, learning how they make movement possible, and also about some of their little-known but equally essential functions.

This course explains how the circulatory and respiratory systems work together to provide our bodies with the oxygen our tissues need, and how they work together with the skin and kidneys to rid our bodies of wastes. You’ll learn how our bodies fight off diseases, and how our digestive system converts the food we eat into energy and the tissues of our bodies. We’ll also spend time on the endocrine system, which supplies the hormones we need for our survival, and the reproductive system, that group of organs that allows life to be passed on to another generation.

We’ll also discuss functions of the different organ systems that you’ll probably find surprising. In addition, each lesson includes information about specific disorders that sometimes happen to our bodies, and we’ll also talk about some recent advances in medicine. By the end of this course, you’ll have a greater appreciation and understanding of the marvelous complexity of the human body!

Tuition & Fees

$130.00 US/180.00 CAD

A new session of this course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!

How does it work? Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.

Keep in mind that the interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.

Week One

Wednesday – Lesson 01
Our first lesson will introduce you to the fascinating subject of human anatomy and physiology. Since chemical reactions drive all of our bodies’ functions, we’ll start by reviewing some basic chemistry. Then we’ll discuss how the human body is organized and the four main types of molecules it contains. We’ll even touch on a little history because humans used to have some pretty funny ideas about living organisms. Later, you’ll learn why a living human being is so different from one who’s died. Finally, we’ll discuss homeostasis—that drive we have to keep many different variables (like temperature and blood pressure) within a narrow range. By the time you’re done with this lesson, you’ll be ready to learn more about the structure and function of our bodies.

Friday – Lesson 02
The smallest living unit of the body is the cell, and it’s so amazing, it deserves a lesson of its own. Even though almost all cells are microscopic, they’re jam-packed with many different kinds of organelles and surrounded by complex membranes. I think you’ll be amazed at their complexity as we discuss their different functions. We’ll also talk about how cells reproduce, and we’ll finish up with a discussion on cancer—which is cell reproduction gone amok.

Week Two

Wednesday – Lesson 03
In this lesson, we’ll tackle the subject of heredity. It’s probably the most technical of all the lessons because we’ll be exploring genetics. You’ll learn how genes determine your physical and mental characteristics, and how your parents’ genetic material determine these traits. You’ll learn the important differences between reproductive cells and all of the other cells in the body. Then we’ll spend some time talking about a man who lived in the 1800’s—Gregor Mendel, the Father of Genetics—because his insights paved the way for our modern understanding of heredity. After that, we’ll discuss some different genetic disorders as you learn about specific mutations in the genetic code that can cause problems.

Friday – Lesson 04
We’ll move on to the organ systems in today’s lesson. We’ll start with the one I find most interesting—the nervous system. You’ll learn how it’s organized, its different jobs, and the structures that make thinking, feeling, and moving possible. You’ll also learn how the nervous system works when we think we’re in danger or we’ve suddenly been affected by physical pain. We’ll use our knowledge about chemistry in this chapter, too, as we talk about how nervous impulses are transmitted. Finally, we’ll talk about some disorders of the nervous system—what causes them and their effects.

Week Three

Wednesday – Lesson 05
Our bones have several functions, and some aren’t so obvious. For example, did you know that red blood cells are made in your bones? Or that bones store minerals that are essential for the function of your nerves and muscles? In today’s lesson on the skeletal system, we’ll explore the structure and function of bones, and then we’ll talk about different types of joints and the amazing structure of your spinal column. You’ll learn about some common disorders of this system and what you can do to keep your bones strong.

Friday – Lesson 06
Like the skeletal system, the muscular system is crucial for movement, but it has other functions, too. We’ll discuss them in detail in today’s lesson. Muscles are also a lot more complicated than they appear, so we’ll spend some time talking about both the structures that we can see and the structures that we can’t see without a microscope. We’ll go over some of the specific muscles in the body and how they work together to perform specific movements. You’ll also learn why even simple movements involve chemical reactions and a close coordination between this system and the nervous system. In the last chapter, we’ll look at several common injuries to different parts of the muscular system.

Week Four

Wednesday – Lesson 07
We’ll focus on the respiratory system in this lesson. As you’re probably aware, it’s the group of organs that allow you to get that crucial substance—oxygen—to all the cells in our body. But your respiratory system has some other functions that we’ll touch on in this lesson. You’ll learn about the anatomy of your respiratory organs and which muscles are crucial for breathing. You’ll also become aware of the differences between ventilation, external respiration, internal respiration, and cellular respiration. And we’ll talk about some illnesses that could affect your respiratory system, compromising your ability to breathe.

Friday – Lesson 08
There’s so much to learn about the circulatory system! In this lesson, we’ll explore the composition of blood, the various blood cells, and the different kinds of blood vessels in your body. Of course, the heart is a crucial part of the circulatory system, so we’ll talk about its chambers, valves, coronary vessels, and electrical system. You’ll learn how blood travels around the body and its important functions. We’ll spend some time on two of the most common health problems people experience—high blood pressure and coronary artery disease. You’ll finish this lesson knowing the importance of taking care of this organ system.

Week Five

Wednesday – Lesson 09
In today’s very interesting lesson, you’ll learn all about the disease-fighting ability of your body. Did you know that your body is constantly bombarded with germs that want to make you sick? We’ll talk about that in this lesson, as well as some of the many ways your body fights back to keep you well. The human body also has a system of vessels (similar to blood vessels) called the lymphatic system. We’ll talk about its disease-fighting role as well as some of its other functions. You’ll learn about some of the other organs in your body that are involved in the battle against disease. At the end of this lesson, we’ll talk about different ways the body’s disease-fighting ability can be compromised and why sometimes the body turns on its own cells.

Friday – Lesson 10
Today we’ll take a close look at two different organ systems—the integumentary system (the skin) and the urinary system. Both of these systems work to get rid of waste products that would kill you if they were allowed to build up in your body. You’ll learn, too, how important these two systems are in maintaining homeostasis. We’ll spend quite a bit of time on the structure of these two systems. People are often surprised to learn how complex even the skin can be. And the structures of the urinary system, particularly the kidneys, are quite amazing. At the end of this lesson, you’ll learn about kidney failure and the challenges of dialysis and kidney transplantation.

Week Six

Wednesday – Lesson 11
You’ll never think about food the same way again after this lesson on the digestive system! Just writing about it made me want to be a bit more careful about what I eat. You’ll learn about all the different structures involved with converting food into the chemicals our bodies need to grow, repair tissues, and carry on all the functions of life. We’ll also discuss the role of the three main types of foods and the importance of many different vitamins and minerals. When you finish this lesson, you’ll understand the value of eating a variety of foods and how good food choices will enhance your health. We’ll spend some time discussing two common digestive disorders, and then we’ll talk about one of the most common kinds of cancer—colon cancer.

Friday – Lesson 12

We’ll end this course with a discussion about the endocrine and reproductive systems. You’ll learn how the endocrine and nervous systems work together to regulate all of your body’s functions. We’ll discuss some specific endocrine glands, the hormones they produce, and how they influence each other. Homeostasis again becomes something important to talk about because of the crucial role of the endocrine system. We’ll also cover both the female and male reproductive systems. You’ll learn about their anatomy and how the endocrine system affects their organs, making reproduction possible. We’ll end this chapter with a discussion about two fairly common disorders—diabetes and endometriosis.

On completion of this course, you will receive one qualification:

Human Anatomy & Physiology Certificate of Completion

A 65% or better must be achieved in order to receive a Certificate of Completion.

About The Instructor

Holly Trimble earned a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from the University of Colorado, a master’s degree in pediatric physical therapy from Boston University, and a master’s degree in biology from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She also completed an additional 15 credit hours in education at the doctoral level. After working as a physical therapist for many years, Holly transitioned into teaching. She taught math and science to sixth-graders for several years at a private school, and also worked as a private tutor for children with learning disabilities. She has lectured on health-related topics to all age groups, from school-age children to adults, and she now works as an adjunct professor, teaching college-level anatomy and physiology. She received an Adjunct Faculty Excellence Award from her college and is the author of the eBook, College Success Now! as well as several ed2go courses.

This course is an online course.  

A new session of this course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!

How does it work? Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.

Keep in mind that the interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.


There is no experience or previous qualifications required for enrollment on this course. It is available to all students, of all academic backgrounds.

Hardware Requirements: 

  • This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac device.

Software Requirements: 

  • PC: Windows XP or later.
  • Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari (We recommend Firefox or Chrome).
  • Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.

This course was much more informative than I expected. I learned so very much about human anatomy… I am still amazed as to how everything works together to maintain homeostasis and keep us going. Wonderful course! Loved the teaching style of Holly Trimble. She made it interesting and so informative.

I didn’t realize how much I had learned until I happened to be watching a TV show on PBS. I could actually understand what the scientists/doctors were talking about and explaining. The show dealt with diseases of the brain and things that can go wrong in the human body. I knew exactly what they were talking about thanks to your course!

I enjoyed taking this class. I have a strong interest in science, especially the human body. My full-time job is accounting, but I hope to go back to school to become a nurse. I enjoyed reading the questions and the responses from the teacher and the students. The answers were very clear and they were not too technical to comprehend. Thank you for offering this course.

I enjoyed this course immensely and would recommend it to anyone that had any desire to learn about the human body. I am preparing to enter PT school and feel that this course was a huge help to me in preparing for the courses that lie ahead.

I really enjoyed the class. The information was in an easily digestible format. As a medical records coder, this course will help take me to a higher level of coding with the anatomy knowledge I have now. This class far exceeded my expectations!

I took this class as a prereq for Medical Coding. As a novice I felt that this course was easy to read and understand as well as interesting. I totally enjoyed the course. Thank you.

I took this course because I teach an EMT course at a local college. I have learned a great deal. I thought I knew the human body and how it worked, but it was a lot more complicated than I thought. I have a greater understanding now and am much better off because of the way you broke things down and made it simpler to understand. Many thanks to you.

I truly enjoyed this course. I am 55 years old, and have decided to try to change careers – to nursing if possible. I felt this course would give me an some idea of what studying to become an RN would entail. Thank you very much!

As a lifelong student and college professor with several degrees, some of which included online courses, I found Holly Trimble to be the best online instructor I have ever had. She explained topics in a clear, yet thorough way, and accentuated these with narratives that helped to personalize the online classroom. I am definitely considering taking another course with her. Thanks so much, Holly, for the great learning experience!

This course was full of a lot of information. I was taking the course just for fun, but I learned so much due to the great amount of detail the instructor put into the course. It was not overwhelming or too deep, but it was very complete. I thought it was a terrific course on anatomy!


In this course, we’ll cover some more advanced topics that we didn’t have time for in Human Anatomy and Physiology I.  We’ll start with basic histology—the study of the different tissues in the body.  You’ll learn about the Read More


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