We presented two kinds of advance organizers (AOs), video clips and prosection, for a gross anatomy dissection course and compared their effects on academic achievement and student perception of the learning experience. In total, 141 students at Chonnam National University Medical School were randomly assigned to two groups: Group 1 (n = 70) was provided with video clips AO, whereas Group 2 (n = 71) was provided with prosection AO, the use of cadaveric specimens dissected by the course instructor. Student self-assessment scores regarding the learning objectives of upper limb anatomy improved significantly in both groups. Academic achievement scores in Group 2 were significantly higher than those in Group 1, although the self-assessment scores were not significantly different between the groups. Additionally, students in Group 2 responded significantly more positively to the statements about perception of the learning experience such as helping them understand the course content and concepts, decreasing anxiety about the dissection course, and participating actively in the dissection. It would seem that the application of prosection as an AO improved academic achievement and increased student engagement and satisfaction. This study will contribute to designing effective AOs and developing a teaching and learning strategy for a gross anatomy dissection course. Clin. Anat. 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.