Open Educational Resources

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 8-1-2021


The goal of this preparatory textbook is to give students a chance to become familiar with some terms and some basic concepts they will find later on in the Anatomy and Physiology course, especially during the first few weeks of the course.

Organization and functioning of the human organism are generally presented starting from the simplest building blocks, and then moving into levels of increasing complexity. This textbook follows the same presentation. It begins introducing the concept of homeostasis, then covers the chemical level, and later on a basic introduction to cellular level, organ level, and organ system level. This second edition incorporates a module on protein synthesis, and a complementary base pairing learning objective as requested by many students. This edition also incorporates links to audios for all learning objectives, and many learning objectives have online videos associated to them.

The textbook is organized in five Units, divided into sixteen Modules covering a total of fifty-three learning objectives. Each learning objective has a short self-assessment at the end.

Each learning objective is followed by a short self-assessment. Review Questions address terms, concepts and facts discussed within each learning objective. Most questions are knowledge questions (Bloom’s taxonomy first level). Tests are written in the format that students usually find in college exams (mostly multiple-choice questions, with some true/false, and some fill in the blank). Test questions are a mix of knowledge, comprehension and application questions (Bloom’s taxonomy first three levels).


The illustration on the cover is by Elisa Riva retrieved from Pixabay. Icons for audio by Kieselli and for video by Satheesh Sankaran, both from Pixabay.

The list of Learning Objectives (LO) is a derivative work of the Learning Outcomes Guidelines by The Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS).

Illustrations are under Creative Commons licenses, or in the Public Domain. Sources are cited next to them.

The first edition of this work is available at

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.



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