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ERIC Number: EJ1405683
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2024
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1935-9772
EISSN: EISSN-1935-9780
Impact of Gross Anatomy Laboratory on Student Written Examination Performance: A 3-Year Study of a Large-Enrollment Undergraduate Anatomy Course
Hana Anderson; Jennifer A. Weil; Richard P. Tucker; Douglas S. Gross
Anatomical Sciences Education, v17 n1 p114-127 2024
The efficacy of the various pedagogies that are used in human anatomy laboratories has been extensively debated. Nevertheless, an important question remains relatively unexamined--how the learning experience in the anatomy laboratory impacts students' mastery and application of anatomical knowledge beyond the laboratory setting. In this study, the effect of a prosection-based anatomy laboratory on overall comprehension and mastery of anatomical knowledge was evaluated in an upper division undergraduate anatomy curriculum that consists of a mandatory lecture course and an optional laboratory course. This flexible curricular structure permitted assessing the merit of laboratory learning on the written examination performance of the lecture course. In 2019 and 2022, the anatomy laboratory was taught in-person using prosections, while in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic related regulations, it was taught remotely with live-streaming of prosections using document cameras. In both in-person and remote instructive formats, written examination scores of the lecture course were compared between two cohorts of students: Those enrolled in lecture only and those enrolled in both lecture and laboratory. Results showed that the cohort enrolled in both lecture and laboratory courses consistently outperformed the lecture-only cohort by one full letter grade. Furthermore, when the degrees of improvement on written examination scores were compared between the two instructive formats, in-person laboratory had a greater increase compared to remote laboratory. Altogether this study demonstrates that the prosection-based anatomy laboratory enhances students' mastery of anatomical knowledge beyond the laboratory setting by promoting comprehension of spatial relationships of anatomical structures.
Wiley. Available from: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030. Tel: 800-835-6770; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A