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Anat Sci Educ. 2017 Dec 4. doi: 10.1002/ase.1753. [Epub ahead of print]

Dissecting the role of sessional anatomy teachers: A systematic literature review.

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1
Center for Human Anatomy Education, Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Abstract

Worldwide there is a growing reliance on sessional teachers in universities. This has impacted all disciplines in higher education including medical anatomy programs. The objective of this review was to define the role and support needs of sessional anatomy teachers by reporting on the (1) qualifications, (2) teaching role, (3) training, and (4) performance management of this group of educators. A systematic literature search was conducted on the 27 July 2017 in Scopus, Web of Science, and several databases on the Ovid, ProQuest and EBSCOhost platforms. The search retrieved 5,658 articles, with 39 deemed eligible for inclusion. The qualifications and educational distance between sessional anatomy teachers and their students varied widely. Reports of cross-level, near-peer and reciprocal-peer teaching were identified, with most institutes utilizing recent medical graduates or medical students as sessional teachers. Sessional anatomy teachers were engaged in the full spectrum of teaching-related duties from assisting students with cadaveric dissection, to marking student assessments and developing course materials. Fourteen institutes reported that training was provided to sessional anatomy teachers, but the specific content, objectives, methods and effectiveness of the training programs were rarely defined. Evaluations of sessional anatomy teacher performance primarily relied on subjective feedback measures such as student surveys (n = 18) or teacher self-assessment (n = 3). The results of this systematic review highlight the need for rigorous explorations of the use of sessional anatomy teachers in medical education, and the development of evidence-based policies and training programs that regulate and support the use of sessional teachers in higher education. Anat Sci Educ.

KEYWORDS:

anatomy demonstrators; anatomy tutors; gross anatomy education; medical education; sessional teachers; systematic review; teaching assistants; undergraduate education

PMID:
29205901
DOI:
10.1002/ase.1753
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