Study pace as a factor that influences achievement in a human anatomy course

Authors

  • Rodrigo Enrique Elizondo-Omaña,

    Corresponding author
    • Departamento de Anatomía Humana, Facultad de Medicina Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Ave. Madero y Dr. Aguirre Pequeño s/n. Col. Mitras Centro, Monterrey, Nuevo León, C.P. 64460, Mexico
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    • Dr. Elizondo-Omaña is coordinator of scholarship recipients for the Department of Human Anatomy, School of Medicine, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León. His research interests include morphological characteristics of vascular conduits used as a bypass.

    • Fax: 01-52-8183477790

  • María De Los Angeles García-Rodríguez,

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    • Ms. García-Rodríguez and Mr. Morales-Gómez are scholarship recipients of the department.

  • Jesús Alberto Morales-Gómez,

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    • Ms. García-Rodríguez and Mr. Morales-Gómez are scholarship recipients of the department.

  • Santos Guzmán-López

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    • Dr. Guzmán-López is the head of the Department of Human Anatomy at the same institution. His research interests include medical education.


Abstract

Determining the optimal conditions for learning anatomy will help medical students to do better in a gross anatomy course. We examined the two types of anatomy courses offered in our institution: slow-paced (SP) and fast-paced (FP) courses, in which the same content is taught in approximately the same number of hours (SP = 91 hr; FP = 90 hr), but the duration of each course differed (SP = 91 1-hr sessions lasting 20 weeks; FP = 45 2-hr sessions lasting 9 weeks). The objective of this study was to find out whether a relationship exists between anatomy course pace and achievement. Two groups of students were tested on their anatomy knowledge both before beginning and after completing either the SP or the FP course. The average difference in scores obtained on the pre- and postcourse tests for each group was obtained and a t-test was used (P < 0.05) to compare the mean score for each group. A significant difference was found between group SP and group FP, with the highest achievement obtained by group SP. The pace of the course is thus a factor that influences achievement. Anat Rec (Part B: New Anat) 289B:134–138, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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