Design and validation of a novel learning tool, the “Anato-Rug,” for teaching equine topographical anatomy

Authors

  • Francesca Braid,

    1. Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, The Royal Veterinary College, University of London, North Mymms, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
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  • Sarah B. Williams,

    1. Department of Veterinary Basic Sciences, The Royal Veterinary College, University of London, London, United Kingdom
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  • Renate Weller

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, The Royal Veterinary College, University of London, North Mymms, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
    • Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, The Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Herts AL9 7TA, United Kingdom
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Abstract

Recognition of anatomical landmarks in live animals (and humans) is key for clinical practice, but students often find it difficult to translate knowledge from dissection-based anatomy onto the live animal and struggle to acquire this vital skill. The purpose of this study was to create and evaluate the use of an equine anatomy rug (“Anato-Rug”) depicting topographical anatomy and key areas of lung, heart, and gastrointestinal auscultation, which could be used together with a live horse to aid learning of “live animal” anatomy. Over the course of 2 weeks, 38 third year veterinary students were randomly allocated into an experimental group, revising topographical anatomy from the “Anato-Rug,” or a control group, learning topographical anatomy from a textbook. Immediately post activity, both groups underwent a test on live anatomy knowledge and were retested 1 week later. Both groups then completed a questionnaire to ascertain their perceptions of their learning experiences. Results showed that the experimental groups scored significantly higher than the control group at the first testing session, experienced more enjoyment during the activity and gained more confidence in identifying anatomical landmarks than the control group. There was not a significant difference in scores between groups at the second testing session. The findings indicate that the anatomy rug is an effective learning tool that aids understanding, confidence, and enjoyment in learning equine thorax and abdominal anatomy; however it was not better than traditional methods with regards to longer term memory recall. Anat SciEduc. © 2012 American Association of Anatomists.

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