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Anatomy and Physiology of the Ear

Course Code: HEAR 1101
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Online
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course is designed to provide a foundation of basic anatomy and physiology of the human ear. The three main sections of the ear will be explored with focus on significant structures of the outer, middle, and inner ear. Students will be introduced to terminology, function and identification of the different structures and their pertinence to the function of human hearing. Hearing aid fitting, selection, and effect on acoustics will be discussed in relation to the different significant anatomic structures.

Course Content

Anatomy and Physiology of the Ear

  1. Identification, definitions and functions of the outer, middle and inner ear and associated structures
  2. Terminology related to the anatomy and conditions of the human ear
  3. Physical anatomy of the human ear in relation to hearing aid fitting, otoscopy and impression taking
  4. The vagus nerve and Arnold's reflex
  5. Audiological pathology, conditions and abnormalities
  6. Natural resonance of the ear canal
  7. Auditory nerve function

Methods of Instruction

  1. Distance Delivery
  2. Independent study of courseware
  3. Independent online self-assessment quizzes
  4. Field assignments
  5. Online discussion forums

Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy. The instructor will present a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester. Evaluation will be based on the following:

Online quizzes 5-15%

Online discussion forum and group work 5-15%

Written tests 20-30%

Written midterm examination 20-30%

Written final examination 25-30%

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

 1. Draw and label the different parts of the outer ear

 2. Identify the significant outer ear structures and explain their basic functions

 3. Draw and label the tympanic membrane

 4. Identify the four quadrants of the tympanic membrane

 5. Identify the significant structures of the middle ear and explain their basic functions

 6. Describe how sound pressures are amplified in the middle ear cavity via the eardrum and ossicles

 7. Describe the acoustic reflex occurring in the middle ear

 8. Describe the primary middle ear function of impedance matching

 9. Describe how the round window allows for fluid displacement in the cochlea

10. Describe how sound transmission is affected by eustachian tube dysfunction

11. Draw and label the different parts of the cochlea

12. Identify the significant inner ear structures and explain their basic functions

13. Describe the function of the inner ear in relation to balance

14. Describe the function of the auditory nerve

15. Describe the relevance of significant anatomical structures of the ear to hearing aid fitting, otoscopy and impression taking 

course prerequisites



HEAR 1100, HEAR 1111, HEAR 1112

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.