HS 280 - Medical Terminology

Course Description

Welcome to Medical Terminology!

In this course, we will learn the basic parts of common medical terms and how to put them together to form words. We will memorize many combining forms, prefixes, and suffixes which are used to build common medical terms. We will practice these word-building skills using reading review activities during each lesson. The readings from I-Learn and the textbook will also help practice these skills. The textbook readings along with the end-of-chapter activities will help us learn to use the words in context and learn to communicate with other medical professionals.

Course Learning Outcomes

In this course, we will learn to:

  1. Break a medical word into its components to determine its meaning.
  2. Memorize high-frequency prefixes, suffixes, and combining forms used in the medical field.
  3. Determine word meanings when used within an authentic context.
  4. Use medical terminology references and other resources to learn new medical terms.
  5. Communicate effectively with other professionals using medical terminology.

Required Textbook

The following textbook is required to complete your assignments for this course. It is available free online through the university library at this link:

If you want a physical copy of the book you can compare prices for your textbooks through the University Store Price Comparison site. They show you all of the options from the University Store plus several online options to help you find the best price. See link to price comparison tool for current price. 

Title: Medical Terminology Systems, A Body Systems Approach, Eighth Edition.
Authors: Barbara A. Gylys and Mary Ellen Wedding
Print ISBN: ISBN: 978-0-8036-5867-7
A digital version is also available for purchase.

Course Design

This course consists of 14 Lessons. The first two lessons introduce medical terminology and give basic skills for developing and understanding medical terms. They also introduce the course and the tools you will use as you learn throughout the semester. Lessons 3 through 13 focus on memorizing terms and developing words for one body system each week. Lesson 14 is the Course Conclusion. Assignments are due on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

During the Course Introduction, we learn where to find information in the course and how to use the I-Learn tools. We also learn about the basic elements of medical terms and how they are linked together to make words. It includes readings in your textbook and on i-learn, assignments, and quizzes. There is an Ice Breaker Discussion Board where you will be able to meet the other students in the course. This is also a place where you can find study partners if you are interested. This lesson includes reading and taking a quiz on the syllabus.

During Lesson 2, we learn about prefixes, suffixes, and body structure. We introduce and learn to use the Terminology Builder. This tool includes all of the combining forms, prefixes, and suffixes you will be memorizing throughout the semester. You can print out the entire word list or just the individual weekly word lists using this tool. We also introduce the "Essential Material". This is located in the “Reference” section (listed in the “Contents” after lesson 14). You will need to memorize the prefixes, suffixes, and Essential Materials by Lesson 9.

During lessons 3 through 13 we focus on one body system each week. Each lesson will include an overview, one or more readings, terms to memorize (listed in the Terminology Builder), a reading review activity, two discussion boards, and a quiz. Included with the Integumentary System in Lesson 3, we learn some general terms that don't fit into any specific system. Lesson 6 includes the Mid-Course Evaluation. Lesson 9 includes a Final Preparation Exam.

Lesson 14 is the Course Conclusion. It includes a Final Exam Review Powerpoint, the Final Examination, and a Course Evaluation.

Lesson Activities


Activity Points Value
Ice Breaker Activity 5 points
Course Introduction Preparation 5 points
Syllabus Quiz 5 points
Gospel Insight Discussion Boards 12 @ 3 points each
Reading Review Assignments 13 @ 6 points each
Helpful Hints Discussion Boards 12 @ 1 point each
Weekly Quizzes 13 @ 10 points each
Lesson Evaluations 1 point each
Mid-Course Feedback 10 points
Final Preparation Exam 20 points
Final Examination 100 points

Grading Scale

A (score ≥ 93%) A- (90 ≤ score < 93%) B+ (87 ≤ score < 90%)
B (83 ≤ score < 87%) B- (80 ≤ score < 83%) C+ (77 ≤ score < 80%)
C (73 ≤ score < 77%) C- (70 ≤ score < 73%) D+ (67 ≤ score < 70%)
D (63 ≤ score < 67%) D- (60 ≤ score < 63%) F (score < 60%)

Late Work Policy

Assignments are to be turned in by the indicated times and dates. Please contact your instructor if you have an emergency.

Life is full of challenges ranging from a rough day or computer trouble to real emergencies. You will be allowed to turn in four reading review assignments late during this semester-up through Lesson 12-for full credit. You will need to inform your instructor of your plan. They must be turned in within seven days of the due date. All assignments during Lesson 13 must be completed on time. Quizzes and the Final must be completed on time. No extra credit is available. 

Suggested Materials and Resources

You will need to use resources to look up information about words during this course. You will need to look up words to verify that you are building real words and to check meanings. You will need to learn to use various sources to look up information. There are many online dictionaries and resources which you can use. Many of them are listed below. You can also do an internet search for a word. You can get the information you need from the online sources. If you want a physical copy of a dictionary, Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary is an often used source. It is also available for purchase in a digital format. The University Bookstore can help you with sources and price comparison to purchase the dictionary. See the link listed above with the required textbook.

Online Practice Resources

Many students find online practice tools helpful as they memorize terms. Here are some which past students have found useful. You are encouraged to share other sources you find useful on the Helpful Hints Discussion Board and look there for sources which other students are using.

Need Help?

The Online Support Center is available to help students taking online courses at BYU-Idaho with questions, concerns, and technical difficulties.

Contact Information

Website: https://www.byui.edu/online/online-support-center

Phone: (208) 496-1411

Email: onlinelearning@byui.edu

Text/SMS (US only): (855) 808-7102

The computer help desk: (208) 496-1411

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