A Randomised Control Trial and Comparative Analysis of Multi-Dimensional Learning Tools in Anatomy

Chris Wang, Ben Kei Daniel, Mustafa Asil, Prashanna Khwaounjoo, Yusuf Ozgur Cakmak* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


This article presents the results of a study that examined students' ability to retain what they have learned in an anatomy course after thirty days via using various learning tools for twenty minutes. Fifty-two second-year medical students were randomly assigned to three learning tools: text-only, three-dimension visualisation in a two-dimensional screen (3DM), or mixed reality (MR). An anatomy test lasting for twenty minutes measuring spatial and nominal knowledge was taken immediately after the learning intervention and another thirty days later. Psychometric tests were also used to measure participants' memory, reasoning and concentration abilities. Additionally, electroencephalogram data was captured to measure the participants' awakeness during the learning session. Results of this study showed that the MR group performed poorly in the nominal questions compared to the other groups; however, the MR group demonstrated higher retention in both the nominal and spatial type information for at least a month compared to the other groups. Furthermore, participants in the 3DM and MR groups reported increased engagement. The results of this study suggest that three-dimensional visualiser tools are likely to enhance learning in anatomy education. However, the study itself has several limitations; some include limited sample size and various threats to internal validity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6120
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Research was funded by the Cakmak Lab and the University of Otago, Otago Medical School.

Author notes: These authors contributed equally: Ben Kei Daniel and Mustafa Asil.
Contributions: Conception and Design of Study: Y.C. and C.W.; Design of materials: Y.C. and C.W.; Randomization of participants: P.K.; Acquisition of data: C.W.; Data analysis and interpretation: Y.C., M.A., B.D. and C.W.; Drafting of manuscript and/or critical revision: C.W., Y.C., M.A., B.D. and P.K.; All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


  • anatomy
  • medical research


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