Development of instructional, interactive, multimedia anatomy dissection software: A student-led initiative

Inwood, M. J., Ahmad, J. and Clarke, E. (2005) Development of instructional, interactive, multimedia anatomy dissection software: A student-led initiative. Clinical Anatomy, 18 (8). pp. 613-617. ISSN 08973806 (ISSN)


Although dissection provides an unparalleled means of teaching gross anatomy, it constitutes a significant logistical and financial investment for educational institutions. The increasing availability and waning cost of computer equipment has enabled many institutions to supplement their anatomy curriculum with Computer Aided Learning (CAL) software. At the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, two undergraduate medical students designed and produced instructional anatomy dissection software for use by first and second year medical students. The software consists of full-motion, narrated, QuickTime MPG movies presented in a Macromedia environment. Forty-four movies, between 1-11 min in duration, were produced. Each movie corresponds to a dissection class and precisely demonstrates the dissection and educational objectives for that class. The software is distributed to students free of charge and they are encouraged to install it on their Apple iBook computers. Results of a student evaluation indicated that the software was useful, easy to use, and improved the students' experience in the dissection classes. The evaluation also indicated that only a minority of students regularly used the software or had it installed on their laptop computers. Accordingly, effort should also be directed toward making the software more accessible and increasing students' comfort and familiarity with novel instructional media. The successful design and implementation of this software demonstrates that CAL software can be employed to augment, enhance and improve anatomy instruction. In addition, effective, high quality, instructional multimedia software can be tailored to an educational institution's requirements and produced by novice programmers at minimal cost. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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