Perceptions of a mobile technology on learning strategies in the anatomy laboratory

Authors

  • Chandler H. Mayfield,

    Corresponding author
    1. Office of Medical Education, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, San Francisco, California
    • UCSF School of Medicine, 530 Parnassus Ave. Box 0410, San Francisco, CA 94143-0410, USA
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  • Peter T. Ohara,

    1. Department of Anatomy, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, San Francisco, California
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  • Patricia S. O'Sullivan

    1. Office of Medical Education, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, San Francisco, California
    2. Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, San Francisco, California
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Abstract

Mobile technologies offer new opportunities to improve dissection learning. This study examined the effect of using an iPad-based multimedia dissection manual during anatomy laboratory instruction on learner's perception of anatomy dissection activities and use of time. Three experimental dissection tables used iPads and three tables served as a control for two identical sessions. Trained, non-medical school anatomy faculty observers recorded use of resources at two-minute intervals for 20 observations per table. Students completed pre- and post-perception questionnaires. We used descriptive and inferential analyses. Twenty-one control and 22 experimental students participated. Compared with controls, experimental students reported significantly (P < 0.05) less reliance on paper and instructor resources, greater ability to achieve anatomy laboratory objectives, and clarity of the role of dissection in learning anatomy. Experimental students indicated that the iPad helped them in dissection. We observed experimental students more on task (93% vs. 83% of the time) and less likely to be seeking an instructor (2% vs. 32%). The groups received similar attention from instructors (33% vs. 37%). Fifty-nine percent of the time at least one student was looking at the iPad. Groups clustered around the iPad a third of their time. We conclude that the iPad-manual aided learner engagement, achieved instructional objectives, and enhanced the effectiveness and efficiency of dissection education. Anat Sci Educ 6: 81–89. © 2012 American Association of Anatomists.

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