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Keywords:

  • education;
  • teaching;
  • dissection;
  • anatomical instruction;
  • Web-based materials

Abstract

Teaching anatomy by dissection is under considerable pressure to evolve and/or even be eliminated, and curricular hours in the dissection laboratory are decreasing. As a possible means of easing this pressure, an online interactive anatomy program has been created to enhance the dissection experience, observational learning, and three-dimensional comprehension of human anatomy. An assessment was made of the utility of the program in preparing students for dissection laboratories and for examinations. The efficacy of the application was evaluated by first-year students and faculty with pre- and post-use surveys in anatomy courses at three medical schools. It was found that students felt better prepared if they utilized the Web site prior to their dissection laboratory, and faculty reported spending less time explaining basic concepts or techniques. It is concluded that a comprehensive online program significantly enhances the quality and efficiency of instruction in human anatomy in the dissection laboratory and could prove to be a useful tool at other institutions. Anat Rec (Part B: New Anat) 289B:121–127, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.