About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 1356 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-617-8491-2
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2017.0459

Conference name: 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2017
Location: Valencia, Spain

ANATOMY, E-LEARNING AND VISUOSPATIAL ABILITY: CONSIDERATIONS FOR FUTURE LEARNERS

S.E. Van Nuland, K.A. Rogers

The Unviersity of Western Ontario (CANADA)
Technological innovation is changing the landscape of higher education, and growing class sizes and a reduction in laboratory hours have increased the popularity of commercial anatomy e-learning tools. Our previous research (n=70) compared a simple 2-dimensional e-learning tool (A.D.A.M. Interactive Anatomy) to a more complex tool that allows for a more 3-dimensional perspective (Netter’s 3D Interactive Anatomy; DOI 10.1002/ase.1589). Despite the differences in how these e-learning tools present information, students’ ability to learn anatomical material, and the mental effort required while doing so, known as cognitive load, were identical between e-learning tools. However, when students with low spatial ability studied anatomical content with the more complex tool (Netter’s 3D Interactive Anatomy), their performance scores were significantly lower than those students with high spatial ability (p=0.007, R2=0.103). These results indicate that e-learning tool software design can differentially influence students based on their spatial ability, but it remains to be determined if traditional kinesthetic-tactile learning approaches, such as manipulating a skeleton, are also impacted by a student’s spatial ability. Using a novel dual-task methodology with a cross over design, undergraduate anatomy students from The University of Western Ontario, Canada (n=75) were evaluated as they studied a bony joint using a physical skeleton as well as a simple commercial software program (A.D.A.M. Interactive Anatomy). We hypothesized that the acquisition of anatomical knowledge by students, regardless of their spatial ability, will be superior when learning is associated with a real model, rather than currently available e-learning tools. Students were assessed using a baseline knowledge test, Stroop observation task response times (a measure of cognitive load), MRT scores (a measure of spatial ability) and an anatomy post-test (a measure of learning). Results suggested that while students may experience more cognitive load while studying using a physical skeleton, it does not detrimentally impact their performance; in fact student performance was significantly higher when they studied using the skeleton. Furthermore our results also demonstrated that students with low spatial ability are at a significant disadvantage when they learn the bony anatomy of a joint and are tested on images of the contralateral joint. This study highlights a major weakness in the strategy to move traditional anatomical education online, and suggests that students should be taught the anatomy of both sides of the human body, regardless of the reality that human limbs are mirror images of each other. However, these results can be further broadened and applied to the training of future surgeons and medical specialists, where procedures should be taught and practiced on both sides of the human body, to ensure that low visuospatial ability students can effectively apply their anatomical knowledge in the clinic and perform procedures equally regardless of sidedness.
@InProceedings{VANNULAND2017ANA,
author = {Van Nuland, S.E. and Rogers, K.A.},
title = {ANATOMY, E-LEARNING AND VISUOSPATIAL ABILITY: CONSIDERATIONS FOR FUTURE LEARNERS},
series = {11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-8491-2},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2017.0459},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2017.0459},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {6-8 March, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {1356}}
TY - CONF
AU - S.E. Van Nuland AU - K.A. Rogers
TI - ANATOMY, E-LEARNING AND VISUOSPATIAL ABILITY: CONSIDERATIONS FOR FUTURE LEARNERS
SN - 978-84-617-8491-2/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2017.0459
PY - 2017
Y1 - 6-8 March, 2017
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2017 Proceedings
SP - 1356
EP - 1356
ER -
S.E. Van Nuland, K.A. Rogers (2017) ANATOMY, E-LEARNING AND VISUOSPATIAL ABILITY: CONSIDERATIONS FOR FUTURE LEARNERS, INTED2017 Proceedings, p. 1356.
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