Linton A, Schoenfeld-Tacher R and Whalen LR. Developing and implementing an assessment method to evaluate a virtual canine anatomy program. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. 2005;32(2):249-54

PMID: 16078179


A computer-based anatomy program, Virtual Canine Anatomy: The Head, was incorporated into a first-year veterinary dissection laboratory two years ago to address challenges inherent in the traditional pedagogical approach. The program uses specimen photographs, QuickTime Virtual Reality, and interactive features to help students study the dissection, osteology, and radiology of the canine head. Photographs of each phase of dissection are displayed in the program, along with dissection instructions. Students can click on anatomical structures in each photograph to highlight the selected structure and display a complete description of it. Related structures and views are accessible through hyperlinks. This study was designed to measure student and faculty attitudes toward the instructional software, to gauge its effect on student achievement, and to propose evaluation methodology and instrumentation for similar projects. Observations, interviews, focus groups, surveys, and test results were used for this assessment. Results suggest positive student and faculty attitudes toward the program. Students felt the program met their needs, increased their confidence and efficiency, and was easy to use. Both students and instructors felt the program was beneficial during dissection. There was no significant change in student achievement on course tests. Future research will measure the program's effect on student-instructor interactions.

Author's contacts: