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Philosophy 1

What is the least amount of work I can do so I can get out of here.

Philosophy 2

Today and Now I will do something for my future self.


In this area, I will revisit and explain issues that come up and clarify problems that might cause you to struggle.

Constructive critique welcome.


Adjust as needed to suit your work flow.

Also see

Study Preparation
A weekly programme

In your workbook

  1. Open at the next double A4 spread = A3
  2. At the top, write:
    1. The slide name
    2. The slide number
    3. The date
  3. Add this information to the index section of your workbook.
You can do this ahead for each of the slides for the current topic.

Which slides?

The list of slides relevant to the topic is listed in the workbook section of the topic. Some slides are used under several topics. Do not repeat a slide - just elaborate and correct your existing content.


Read through the following sections on HistoWeb:
  1. Histology Practical Presentation
  2. The workbook section

Where necessary, refer to your lecture notes and handbook. If you come across a new term, and the meaning is uncertain, look it up before going on.

Things to do now

  1. Look for: You should be able to:
  2. Convert these into questions to use as retrieval practice and calibration.
  3. Look for: Calibration.
Make space in your workbook on a topic or slide page for these items. You will return to them later.


  1. Tasks occur at different hierarchical levels.
  2. A tasks can contain tasks within itself.
  3. Complete all the tasks in an allocated space.

Tasks are designed to assist you in seeing what you need to see and emphasize what is important.


  1. Seek assistance sooner rather than later.
  2. Ask for help.
  3. While you are waiting for clarification, move on to other content.
  4. Return to the incomplete section when you have clarity.
  5. Very often, just by moving on to something else, you will have insight yourself that will assist you in completing the task.


At some point, you will be required to show completed work to someone. Now would be a good time to do this. This will ensure that you get more attention. When everyone hand in their work, their is just not enough time to look at all the work in detail. Jump the queue and get the attention you deserve :-)

Calibration phase

Do I know my work? Do I need to study some more? What parts of the content do I not know?

It is bad planning to find this out during a test. Calibration is the phase where you assess yourself and identify content for revision.

Return to the questions you created and the Calibration sections. Answer these questions and check your answers using your various resources.

Nailed it / Not sure

When testing yourself, you do not need to have a formal memorandum for marks. Just decide if you are almost 100% correct, or if you are unsure/wrong. 100% correct doesn't need revision immediately. Spend more time on the unsure/wrong content.

Frequent Questions

Look through these, it might have been asked already.

Are you a Collector?

Just collecting ALL the CONTENT and MORE content, doesn't mean you know the work. You need to engage with the content. Make drawings, test yourself, question yourself.


Do I need to do everything or just {this little bit here}?

Do not skip sections and do all the tasks. If you skip anything, you will win some time now. You will pay the price later, when you do not have that piece of knowledge available in your head.

Print or Draw

I can just print the image, copy and paste and Bjorn Stronginthearm is your uncle...

Drawing using pen and paper is part of the process to embed knowledge in your long term memory. By printing, you will become proficient and designing and compiling books. Not essential knowledge for a health professional, else it would be part of the curriculum.

By drawing by hand, you are engaging with the content. This is hard to do (initially) and that is good. Learning that is hard, initially, gets easier much faster and are retained much better over the long term. You will end up having to study less in the future, more than making up for the extra time now.

We do not expect text book diagrams and illustrations. The process is important, and annotations is important. Also, elaboration on your annotations are important.

Doesn't mean to settle for a few squiggles on the page..

Class notes and Practical Book

From a learing point, it is best to have as few as possible sources floating around.


Light Microscope Electron Microscope Cell phone
Viewer You You You
Eye piece Physical lens with additional final magnification Video screen Cell phone screen
Focus Focus knob moving stage, or tube Focus knob adjusting the light source Automatic by operating system
Objective lens Lens attached to tube Magnetic system Part of the camera system


Light Microscope Electron Microscope Cell phone
Subject Object under investigation on microscope slide Object under investigation on object carrier A scene
Stage Holding the microscope slide in place Slide holder You are standing on it :-)
Condensor lens Physical lens, between light source and subject Magnetic lenses directing electron beams Visible lens on phone
Light source Light bulb Electron beam Sun

Naming of epithelia

  • Epithelia covers surfaces.
    • That implies a luminal border.
  • All epithelia rests something.
    • Something is a basement membrane.
    • It's not turtles all the way down.
  • Each cell has a nucleus.
    • The cell membrane is not visible.
    • A cell membrane is implied.
    • About half-way between each nucleus.

Shape of cells

  • We can draw a line between nuclei.
    • That indicates a likely cell shape.
  • For luminal layer cells:
    • Lumen forms one border.
  • For basal cells:
    • Basement membrane forms one border.
  • Only the outer layer
    • Determines the name of the epithelium

Simple = single layer

Using eggs as an analogy for cells.

Stratified = multiple layers

Building us an epithelium

Using different types of cells, we can construct epithelia. And other tissues for that matter. In epithelia, the shape of the cells can be described, but only the outer layer determines the name of the epithelium.

Stratified squamous epithelium

  • The outer layer is squamous cells.
  • Inside the epithelium can be:
    • A layer of triangular shaped basal cells.
    • And a layer of cuboidal cells.
    • And a layer of columnar cells.
  • Not basal epithelium
  • Or cuboidal epithelium
  • Or columnar epithelium

Naming of epithelium

  • Layers of cells
  • Each layer has a shape
  • Outer layer names epithelium
  • Layers below outer layer
  • Only have shapes
  • Is not epithelium
  • Think about the analogy

Floor of the room

  • The floor is laminated wood
    • It might rest on a concrete base
    • Below the base is loose earth
  • It is a
    • Laminated wood floor
  • Not a
    • Laminated wood concrete base loose earth floor
  • Also not
    • A laminated wood floor
    • and a concrete base floor
    • and a loose earth floor

Epithelium of skin

  • Thick
    • Rule of thumb usually > 50 cell layers
  • stratified
    • More than 1 layer
  • keratinized
    • Outer layer of cells is keratinized
  • squamous epithelium
    • Single outer layer is flattened cells

Epithelium of skin

  • Inside the epithelium layer
  • Cells change shape
  • From the base
    • Basal cells
    • Usually triangular
  • Into the middle
    • Polygonal
  • To the surface
    • Squamous (flat)

Words matter

To put it slightly differently:
An epithelium consists of layers of cells.

An epithelium DOES NOT consists of layers of epithelium.
Therefore: Stratified squamous epithelium consists of a layer of triangular basal cells, several layers of polygonal cells and several layers of squamous cells.

Stratified squamous epithelium does not consist of a layer of basal epithelium, triangular epithelium, polygonal epithelium and squamous epithelium.

I have attended the lecture, look at HistoWeb, browsed through the workbook stuff, I am confused, what do I do with all of this?

Generic weekly approach

Have a look at:

Study Preparation: Generic schedule

Adjust to YOUR schedule.

Most important part!

  • Do not use lecture presentations as the base of your studies.
    • Make your framework.
    • Use your own work.
  • Use lecture presentations to:
    • Supplement
    • Expand
    • Clarify
  • Use your own words.

HistoWeb and the Workbook

The following is an example, using slide 31. It is based on queries I have received, let me know if you need additional explanations.

Sample slide

Slide 31


Example of a completed sketch.



(I also forgot the date)

8. Glands in mucosa

Do not forget your theory.




Microscopic view

9. Connective tissue in submucosae

Do not forget your theory.




Microscopic view

Example of completed reflection questions.

(I can read mine, you should be able to read yours!)

Is this for marks or for myself?

You have to study all the cells, tissues, organs and structures in the human body. The practical part expands and clarifies the theory. To make sure that you see what you have to see, as well as define boundaries, you have to work through and complete the workbook tasks.

Whether this is for marks or not, should NOT be the focus. Your focus should be on mastering the content, and use all resources available in this process. You will be examined on content discussed in class (for which your handbook is the main resource), as well as practical content (for which the practical tasks are the main resource). You can go beyond this content, and is also highly recommended that you do.

To monitor for any problems, we will require you to submit your work at some point. You will be informed of this well in advance of the deadline.

Struggling with the drawings?

Some additional points to ponder

What should be on the drawing?
How much detail should there be?


It is not possible to show all the elements you need to draw on a single drawing, for example the layers of skin, and the content inside the layers. A fat cell within the layer needs to be drawn larger than is possible at that scale.

Suggested approach

Decide what should be on your drawing. Review your class note and the workbook instructions. From this, compile a list of cells, tissues and structures that you would need on your final drawing. You can make this list in one corner of the page you are working on.

Look at the various slides that are available - at various magnifications.

Orientate yourself so that you are aware at all times where you are on the slide. For example, in skin, are you just below the surface in the dermis or deeper in to the hypodermis. How large relative speaking are blood vessels you can see?

Drawing 1

You would need 1 drawing at a low magnification. Select an image, and make a drawing at this level. Add annotations. The purpose of this is to give you the location of smaller structures within the larger organ or structure. If you make a high magnification drawing of fat cells on their own, you can anchor their location on this drawing.


Review your list. On the same page, and around the initial drawing, make additional drawings of other structures with their own labeling.

Review your list of structures, tissues and cells and confirm you have all the items listed.

If needed, add additional detail or additional drawings.


This is not a constructivist approach to learning. At any point, if you are unsure, contact someone. We welcome and will review any material you send, even more so if accompanied by questions for clarification.

Please do not worry about mistakes or errors. It is more important to have feedback and corrections, than trying to be 100% correct on the first attempt.

Resolution power

Slide 21 - Amphibian Blood: A task questions - "Why can't the cell membrane be seen?"
I am able to see a dark pink membrane very faintly. Am I incorrect?

Yes, you are correct. You can see a faint line. That is also true for some other cells you will be looking at.
However -
The cell membrane is too small to be resolved by the light microscope. To see the cell membrane, you need the magnification of an electron microscope. What you are seeing with a light microscope is the conglomeration of proteins and other cell content against the cell membrane that stains slightly darker than the rest of the cytoplasm, giving the appearance of a cell membrane.

This is NOT ALWAYS the case, so the position of the cell membrane is inferred by the knowledge that there should be a cell membrane between adjacent nuclei. For all practical purposes, we can assume that the cell membrane is located half-way between adjacent nuclei.

The End

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