Computers can't match cadavers in teaching anatomy

Despite the growing popularity of using computer simulation to help in teaching college anatomy, students learn much better through the traditional use of human cadavers, finds a research.

New York: Despite the growing popularity of using computer simulation to help in teaching college anatomy, students learn much better through the traditional use of human cadavers, finds a research.

"The study suggests cadaver-based instruction should continue in undergraduate human anatomy, a gateway course to medical schools, nursing and other health and medical fields," said study co-author Cary Roseth, associate professor of educational psychology at Michigan State University in the US.

Some medical schools in Australia and Britain have stopped using cadavers to teach anatomy altogether, the study pointed out, suggesting such an approach could have implications for healthcare.

"Our findings indicate that educational technology can enhance anatomy instruction but is unlikely to fully replace cadavers," Roseth added.

The researchers studied a semester-long undergraduate anatomy lecture course with 233 students who were assigned to one of 14 labs.

One group of students learned on a cadaver and was tested on a cadaver. Another group of students learned on a multimedia learning system and was also tested on a cadaver.

The students were tested on two things -- identifying parts of the body and explaining how they worked.

On identification, the students who learned on a cadaver scored, on average, about 16 percent higher than those who learned on the simulated system.

On explanation, the students who learned on a cadaver scored about 11 percent higher.

The study appeared in the journal Anatomical Sciences Education.

 

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