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Keywords:

  • gross anatomy education;
  • medical education;
  • anatomy e-book;
  • iPad;
  • interactive learning;
  • mobile learning;
  • e-learning;
  • m-learning

This pilot study compared the use of an enriched multimedia eBook with traditional methods for teaching the gross anatomy of the heart and great vessels. Seventy-one first-year students from an Australian medical school participated in the study. Students' abilities were examined by pretest, intervention, and post-test measurements. Perceptions and attitudes toward eBook technology were examined by survey questions. Results indicated a strongly positive user experience coupled with increased marks; however, there were no statistically significant results for the eBook method of delivery alone outperforming the traditional anatomy practical session. Results did show a statistically significant difference in the final marks achieved based on the sequencing of the learning modalities. With initial interaction with the multimedia content followed by active experimentation in the anatomy lab, students' performance was improved in the final test. Obtained data support the role of eBook technology in modern anatomy curriculum being a useful adjunct to traditional methods. Further study is needed to investigate the importance of sequencing of teaching interventions. Anat Sci Educ. 7: 19–27. © 2013 American Association of Anatomists.