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Anat Sci Educ. 2018 Apr 12. doi: 10.1002/ase.1787. [Epub ahead of print]

The effect of content delivery style on student performance in anatomy.

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Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Microbiology, College of Science, Health and Engineering. La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia.


The development of new technologies and ensuing pedagogical research has led many tertiary institutions to integrate and adopt online learning strategies. The authors of this study have incorporated online learning strategies into existing educational practices of a second year anatomy course, resulting in half of the course content delivered via face-to-face lectures, and half delivered online via tailored video vignettes, with accompanying worksheets and activities. The effect of the content delivery mode on student learning was analyzed by tailoring questions to content presented either face-to-face or online. Four practical tests were conducted across the semester with each consisting of four questions. Within each test, two questions were based on content delivered face-to-face, and two questions were based on content delivered online. Examination multiple choice questions were similarly divided and assessed. Findings indicate that student learning is consistent regardless of the mode of content delivery. However, student viewing habits had a significant impact on learning, with students who viewed videos multiple times achieving higher marks than those less engaged with the online content. Student comments also indicated that content delivery mode was not an influence on learning. Therefore student engagement, rather than the mode of content delivery, is a determinant of student learning and performance in human anatomy. Anat Sci Educ.


assessment; blended learning; content delivery mode; face-to-face learning; gross anatomy education; online learning; student engagement; undergraduate education


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