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Keywords:

  • gross anatomy education;
  • activity theory;
  • student-generated content;
  • learner-generated content;
  • educational methodology;
  • anatomy teaching;
  • iPad

Video and photography are often used for delivering content within the anatomical sciences. However, instructors typically produce these resources to provide instructional or procedural information. Although the benefits of learner-generated content have been explored within educational research, virtually no studies have investigated the use of learner-generated video and photograph content within anatomy dissection laboratories. This study outlines an activity involving learner-generated video diaries and learner-generated photograph assignments produced during anatomy laboratory sessions. The learner-generated photographs and videos provided instructors with a means of formative assessment and allowed instructors to identify evidence of collaborative behavior in the laboratory. Student questionnaires (n = 21) and interviews (n = 5), as well as in-class observations, were conducted to examine student perspectives on the laboratory activities. The quantitative and qualitative data were examined using the framework of activity theory to identify contradictions between student expectations of, and engagement with, the activity and the actual experiences of the students. Results indicate that learner-generated photograph and video content can act as a rich source of data on student learning processes and can be used for formative assessment, for observing collaborative behavior, and as a starting point for class discussions. This study stresses the idea that technology choice for activities must align with instructional goals. This research also highlights the utility of activity theory as a framework for assessing classroom and laboratory activities, demonstrating that this approach can guide the development of laboratory activities. Anat Sci Educ 7: 361–369. © 2014 American Association of Anatomists.