Alternative approaches to anatomical education

Davis, John-Paul, Jennifer Farhat, Fahmida Poly, Greg Grabowski, and Mary Tracy-Bee

Educating students in the field of anatomy has been a challenge for decades. Bringing a “dead” science to “life” has been problematic for even the greatest of educators.  We sought an approach to teaching anatomy that incorporated multiple teaching styles and formats to keep student learning engaging, stimulating, and self-motivating.  We achieved our goal by incorporating an online component for both the lecture and lab for our graduate and upper-level students, including team-based learning.   Students attended weekly in-class lectures and labs, which included team-based learning. Each week they were involved in interactive on-line lectures with voice and quizzes.  To help students understand the nuances of human dissection, students conducted dissections through layers of the body via a virtual anatomy dissector, which prepared them well for their weekly cadaver dissection.  Grades increased 12% and student satisfaction increased 64% with this format. The highest rated component was the on-line lectures with voice, which we will demonstrate.  We highly recommend this approach for successfully teaching anatomy.