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Assessing Student Attitudes Towards Pair-learning of Cadaveric Thorax,  Abdomen and Pelvis Anatomy Practicals: A Covid-19 Intervention
Poster Title: Assessing Student Attitudes Towards Pair-learning of Cadaveric Thorax, Abdomen and Pelvis Anatomy Practicals: A Covid-19 Intervention
Submitted on 19 Aug 2021
Author(s): Dearbhla Cullinane, Denis Barry
Affiliations: Trinity College Dublin
This poster was presented at Anatomical Society Virtual Summer Conference Glasgow 2021
Poster Views: 295
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Poster Information
Abstract: Prior to the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, our anatomy practical sessions entailed eight to 10 students per donor station, rotating between digital learning, anatomical models / osteology specimen and dissection / prosection learning activities for three hours. To maintain cadaveric participation in the dissection theatre (DT) while adhering to social distancing guidelines, a transition to pair-learning (PL) was implemented. This mode of delivery allowed two students to spend one hour per week with a donor body, anatomical models and osteology specimen. These sessions were repeated and the ratio of teaching assistant to students was eight to one. All digital learning elements were transferred to the VLE as pre- and post-practical learning activities. To determine the effectiveness of hybrid practical sessions and reduced donor to student ratios, we gauged 195 first year medical students opinion after their thorax, abdomen, and pelvis practical curriculum using an online questionnaire with a 51% response rate. The majority students (93.5%) reported that they enjoyed working in pairs and that this facilitated their understanding of anatomy. Despite a significant reduction in practical time, students (67.7%) agreed that their online practical exams provided a fair assessment. 97.8% reported that they had enough time with the donor body at their station, and most students (74.2%) reported that they still felt connected to their classmates. Thematic analysis revealed that PL provided students with sufficient hands-on experience with donors. Students also indicated that extra time in the DT outside scheduled classes would be beneficial. Key insights revealed that an opportunity to experience more anatomical variation would have been beneficial. Student also indicated their lack of confidence in undertaking dissection and the frustration that they experienced as a result. This study emphasizes the importance of gauging students’ preferences to optimize satisfaction and learning output when pivoting to blended learning strategies in anatomy education. The School of Medicine Research Ethics Committee TCD granted approval for this study.Summary: This poster describes student perceptions of integrating a pair-based system for thorax, abdomen and pelvis cadaveric anatomy practicals.References: 1. Estai M, Bunt S. 2016. Best teaching practices in anatomy education: A critical review. Ann Anat 208:151–157.
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