University of Sussex
A Multicentre Analysis of Approaches to Learning and Student Experiences of Learning Anatomy Online.pdf (1.13 MB)

A multicentre analysis of approaches to learning and student experiences of learning anatomy online

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posted on 2023-06-10, 05:22 authored by Danya Stone, Georga J Longhurst, Kate Dulohery, Thomas Campbell, Annalise Richards, Dominic O'Brien, Thomas Franchi, Samuel Hall, Scott Border
Introduction: The approaches to learning students adopt when learning anatomy online could yield important lessons for educators. Dissection room teaching can encourage students to adopt a deep approach to learning anatomy. It was therefore hypothesized that the proportion of students adopting a deep approach to learning would be lower in a population learning anatomy online. This research aims to investigate the experiences of students learning anatomy online during the COVID-19 pandemic and the approaches to learning they adopted. Methods: A survey was distributed to medical students at 7 universities across the UK and Ireland. The survey included two previously validated questionnaires: Approaches and Study Skills Inventory for Students and Anatomy Learning Experience Questionnaire. Results: The analysis included 224 unique student responses. Students’ approach to learning mirrored reports from previous studies conducted during face-to-face tuition with 44.3% adopting deep, 40.7% strategic, 11.4% surface, and 3.6% combined learning approaches. The university (p = 0.019) and changes to formative (p = 0.016) and summative (p = 0.009) assessments significantly impacted approach to learning. Students reported that online resources were effective but highlighted the need for clearer guidance on how to find and use them successfully. Conclusion: It is important to highlight that students value in-person opportunities to learn from human cadaveric material and hence dissection room sessions should remain at the forefront of anatomical education. It is recommended that future online and/or blended provisions of anatomy teaching include varied resources that maximize engagement with media featuring cadaveric specimens.


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  • Published

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Medical Science Educator




Springer Science and Business Media LLC



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United States

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  • Division of Medical Education Publications

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