Get access

Perceptions among occupational and physical therapy students of a nontraditional methodology for teaching laboratory gross anatomy



This pilot study was designed to assess the perceptions of physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) students regarding the use of computer-assisted pedagogy and prosection-oriented communications in the laboratory component of a human anatomy course at a comprehensive health sciences university in the southeastern United States. The goal was to determine whether student perceptions changed over the course of a summer session regarding verbal, visual, tactile, and web-based teaching methodologies. Pretest and post-test surveys were distributed online to students who volunteered to participate in the pilot study. Despite the relatively small sample size, statistically significant results indicated that PT and OT students who participated in this study perceived an improved ability to name major anatomical structures from memory, to draw major anatomical structures from memory, and to explain major anatomical relationships from memory. Students differed in their preferred learning styles. This study demonstrates that the combination of small group learning and digital web-based learning seems to increase PT and OT students' confidence in their anatomical knowledge. Further research is needed to determine which forms of integrated instruction lead to improved student performance in the human gross anatomy laboratory. Anat Sci Educ 4: 71–77, 2011. © 2011 American Association of Anatomists.