Use of Web-based materials to enhance anatomy instruction in the health sciences


  • Noelle A. Granger,

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    • Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, 302 Taylor Hall, C 7090, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 2759
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    • Fax: 919-966-1856

    • Dr. Granger has taught anatomy at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine for 25 years, including a stint as course director.

  • Diane C. Calleson,

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    • Dr. Calleson has appointments in the School of Public Health and the Department of Family Medicine at UNC.

  • O.W. Henson,

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    • Dr. Henson is a professor emeritus (retired) at UNC School of Medicine, where he was the anatomy course director for 32 years.

  • Eve Juliano,

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    • Ms. Juliano heads the Medical Educational Technology Group at UNC, which shared in the development of the Interactive Human Anatomy program.

  • Lawrence Wineski,

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    • Dr. Wineski teaches anatomy at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, and has used the program in his classes.

  • Martha D. Mcdaniel,

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    • Dr. McDaniel is chair of the Department of Anatomy, Dartmouth School of Medicine, Dartmouth, New Hampshire, and used the program in her classes.

  • Jennifer M. Burgoon

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    • Ms. Burgoon is a graduate student in the School of Education at UNC and, together with Dr. Calleson, developed the assessment instruments and analyzed the resulting data.


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.