Importance of dissection in learning anatomy: Personal dissection versus peer teaching
Article first published online: 4 JAN 2002
Copyright © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Volume 15, Issue 1, pages 38–44, January 2002
How to Cite
Johnson, J. H. (2002), Importance of dissection in learning anatomy: Personal dissection versus peer teaching. Clin. Anat., 15: 38–44. doi: 10.1002/ca.1090
- Issue published online: 4 JAN 2002
- Article first published online: 4 JAN 2002
- Manuscript Revised: 25 APR 2001
- Manuscript Received: 21 JUN 2000
- practical exam;
- upper extremity;
- lower extremity;
- medical education
Two studies or approaches to time savings in teaching gross anatomy were implemented and tested. Personal dissection vs. peer teaching of the upper and lower extremities revealed subtle effects of dissection on examination performance. Although peer teaching was generally successful, students preferred to dissect for themselves, lacking confidence in being taught by other students. ANOVA and multiple range tests carried out on the examination means indicated no difference between each student's scores on upper and lower extremity questions. However, subtle effects were reflected in significant differences (P < 0.05) in both ratio (upper%/lower%) and difference (upper%–lower%) between each student's percent scores on upper extremity and lower extremity questions, indicating enhanced performance on the extremity dissected. Students dissecting both extremities were intermediate in both ratio and difference, and not significantly different from either the “upper” or “lower” extremity groups. A questionnaire indicated that students who dissected only one extremity would have preferred to have dissected both extremities, and, contrary to overall examination performance, disagreed that they had learned both extremities at a satisfactory level. Although documenting adequate learning with time savings, the results are consistent with the contention that hands-on dissection enhances learning and confidence in the subject matter, because examination performance as well as personal satisfaction was enhanced on the extremity that was dissected. Clin. Anat. 15:38–44, 2002. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.