Table 2.

Examples of whiteboard prompts by general topic and type of activity during the 2015 term

Type of Whiteboarding ActivityGeneral TopicWhiteboard Prompt
Concept mappingCardiovascular physiologyConstruct your own concept map of cardiac output. Include all of the terms listed (e.g., stroke volume, heart rate, EDV, ESV, venous return). Arrows between terms should be accompanied by the appropriate connecting terms listed (e.g., decreases, increases, directly affects, inversely affects).
Interpreting a diagramNeuronal physiologyDiagram of unmyelinated vs. myelinated axons from Giuliodori MJ, DiCarlo SE. Adv Physiol Educ 28: 80–81, 2004 (12a). This diagram shows me that _______________________________ ______________________.
OsmoregulationAn inaccurate diagram of a nasal salt gland cellular mechanism is shown. Based on what I told you regarding the supraorbital salt gland in seabirds, provide a more accurate and well-labeled drawing of how Na+, K+, and Cl are drawn into the secretory cells from the blood and then moved out of the secretory cells into the lumen of the salt gland tubule.
Using a mathematical formulaEnergetics/metabolismA cat has a body mass that is ~100× greater than a mouse, yet its metabolic rate is not 100× greater than a mouse’s. Apply Kleiber’s law to show how you would calculate how many times greater the cat’s metabolic rate is compared with the mouse’s.
Mapping the sequence of eventsRenal physiologyCreate a diagram or describe (with key terms underlined) the route of blood flow through the kidneys, starting with blood entering the kidneys and ending with blood leaving the kidneys.
Digestive physiologyUsing a well-labeled diagram, show/explain how glucose is moved from the lumen of the small intestine into the bloodstream.
Verbal explanation with a diagramSensory mechanismsYou smell a fragrance that “brings back” happy childhood memories of blowing bubbles. Draw a diagram of and clearly label the sensory projection pathway from the binding of the odorant molecule to the route action potentials take to the specific part of the brain that elicits the output of “emotional memory.”
Muscle physiologyDraw and clearly label three distinct motor units in one muscle (made up of multiple muscle fibers). If the three motor units have threshold potentials of 1, 2, and 3 mV, respectively, then what stimulus strength would result in the strongest contraction of the whole muscle? Explain why.
Respiratory physiologyDiagram and explain how the mammalian lung acts as a negative pressure pump through an entire respiratory cycle. Your explanation must include at least the following terms: Boyle’s law, Patm, Palv, pressure gradient, inhalation, and diaphragm.

EDV, end-diastolic volume; ESV, end-systolic volume; Patm, atmospheric pressure; Palv, alveolar pressure.