Three-dimensional (3D) digital animations were used to teach the human musculoskeletal system to first year kinesiology students. The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of this method by comparing two groups from two different academic years during two of their official required anatomy examinations (trunk and upper limb assessments). During the upper limb section, the teacher used two-dimensional (2D) drawings embedded into PowerPoint® slides and 3D digital animations for the first group (2D group) and the second (3D group), respectively. The same 3D digital animations were used for both groups during the trunk section. The only difference between the two was the multimedia used to present the information during the upper limb section. The 2D group surprisingly outperformed the 3D group on the trunk assessment. On the upper limb assessment no difference in the scores on the overall anatomy examination was found. However, the 3D group outperformed the 2D group in questions requiring spatial ability. Data supported that 3D digital animations were effective instructional multimedia material tools in teaching human anatomy especially in recalling anatomical knowledge requiring spatial ability. The importance of evaluating the effectiveness of a new instructional material outside laboratory environment (e.g., after a complete semester and on official examinations) was discussed. Anat Sci Educ 7: 430–437. © 2014 American Association of Anatomists.