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Outcomes from building system courseware for teaching and testing in a discipline-based human structure curriculum

Authors

  • Frank D. Reilly

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, School of Medicine, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia
    • Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, School of Medicine, P.O. Box 9128, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia 26506-9128, USA
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Abstract

This study investigated the educational benefits of system-based lecture notes and interactive learning objects in a peripheral nervous system component of a traditional first-year medical school human anatomy course. The impetus for the investigation was anecdotal evidence suggesting enhanced learner satisfaction with the learning resources. Retrospective review of existing data from 2006 to 2009 was undertaken to quantify (1) the effects of Web-based system courseware on examination item performance, and (2) differences among learner opinions regarding the benefit level of the five different types of interactive learning objects as evaluated by instructional design questionnaires. Interactive patient-based case studies (IPCS) and review games (Games), simulated interactive patients (SIP), flashcards, and unit quizzes (Quizzes) developed in-house have been peer-reviewed and published in MedEdPORTAL. Statistics included one-way analysis of variance, Tukey's post hoc test, and power meta-analysis (d). Examination item analysis scores remained significantly higher (P ≤ 0.05; d = 0.3938) for learners receiving the instructional treatment incorporating system-based lecture notes and interactive learning objects than for those not receiving this treatment. Using questionnaires with a five-point Likert scale, students reported favorably on the benefit level of all learning objects. They rated the SIP and IPCS significantly higher (P ≤0.05) and games significantly lower (P ≤ 0.05) than in previous years, indicating a change in learner preferences. This study reaffirms that online system-based instructional techniques improve student examination performance and overall student satisfaction. Learners indicated stronger preferences for SIP and IPCS over exercises encouraging passive memorization of anatomical content. Anat Sci Educ. © 2011 American Association of Anatomists.

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