Josephson Eleanor M, Moore Larry J. An electronic instructor for gross anatomy dissection. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. 2006;33(3):465-73

PMID: 17035225


Gross anatomy is time consuming to teach and to learn. Because the process of dissection takes up so much student time, assistance in the form of an in-lab instructional DVD program might improve student performance. The DVD could be viewed with a portable device by individual dissection groups at their tables. Groups could dissect at their own pace, with access to step-by-step demonstrations and answers to frequently asked anatomical questions. We created an instructional DVD program demonstrating dissection of the canine ventral neck and thoracic limb. The effect on student exam scores of using the DVD versus not using it was measured in a controlled, two-sample study using incoming first-year veterinary students as volunteers. Volunteers were told the study was of two different dissection methods; the DVD was not specifically mentioned until after the students were separated into two groups (Blue/DVD group and Orange/No DVD group), and then only to volunteers in the Blue group. Except for the DVD, the two groups had the same resources. The difference in scores on an exam given after a single dissection period did not differ sufficiently to conclude that DVD use raised the mean score; however, 73% of the DVD group scored 60% or higher, while only 38% of the No DVD group scored 60% or higher. The difference in mean scores overall was 2.3 points out of a possible 49, suggesting that the DVD helped students, especially those with lower scores, to earn two to three more points than they would have otherwise.

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