Kinzie MB, Strauss R, Foss J. The effects of an interactive dissection simulation on the performance and achievement of high school biology students. Journal of Research in Science Teaching. 1993;30(8):989–1000


Educators, administrators, and students are reevaluating the value of animal dissection in the classroom and are taking a careful look at instructional alternatives. This research is an attempt to examine the performance, achievement, and attitudinal effects of a dissection alternative, an interactive videodiscbased (IVD) simulation, in two ways: as a substitute for dissection and as a preparatory tool used prior to dissection. Sixty-one high school students enrolled in three general-ability high school biology classes participated in this research over a 4-day period. On the substitution issue, findings suggest that the IVD simulation was at least as effective as actual dissection in promoting student learning of frog anatomy and dissection procedures. On the preparation issue, it was found that students using the IVD simulation as a preparation performed a subsequent dissection more effectively than students receiving no preparation and more effectively than students viewing a videotape as preparation. Students using the IVD simulation as preparation also learned more about frog anatomy and dissection procedures than those who dissected without preparation. Students in all groups evidenced little change in attitudes toward dissection. All students reported a significant gain in dissection self-efficacy, but no between-group differences were found. Findings are discussed relative to their implications for educational practice and future research.