Developing clinical anatomy e-learning packages for senior medical students and evaluating their effectiveness using pre and post-tests: A pilot study

Fiona Farquharson* (Corresponding Author), Asha Venkatesh, Anastasios Giamouriadis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalAbstractpeer-review


Although it is well recognised that vertical integration of Anatomy teaching across the medical curriculum enhances students' ability to apply knowledge to clinical placements, most medical curricula teach Anatomy exclusively in the early years of the curriculum. Studies show an attrition of anatomy knowledge in senior medical students. We aimed to address this knowledge gap by developing and delivering a short clinical anatomy e- learning package for final year medical students and quantified their learning using pre and post- tests and a questionnaire. A Clinical Anatomy package on trau-matic intracranial haemorrhage taking 20 min to complete was de-veloped in an ‘iBook’. A total of 40 final year medical students from the University of Aberdeen undertook this e- learning package using a tablet device provided by the university and completed pre and im-mediate tests (20 single best answer questions each). Acceptability of the package was gathered using a Likert- scale questionnaire and free- text comments. Statistical analysis was performed using ques-tion means and a paired sample t- test. Likert- scale responses in the questionnaire were quantitatively analysed and free- text comments inductively coded for themes. Mean scores of pre and post- test increased from 66% to 87%. 87.5% of students (35/40) returned a higher post- test score (mean increase = 4 marks). The mean dif-ference in scores between pre- and post- test retuned a statistical significance of p < .001. 100% of students who completed the ques-tionnaire (38/40) agreed that the iBook was a good learning pack-age. 97.5% felt completing the resource would be helpful for clinical practice and learning. Students reported that they found the iBook easy to use, enjoyed the format and would use it for future use. This pilot shows that undertaking a short clinical anatomy package prior to clinical placements can improve student's clinical anatomy knowledge. Technology allows for such resources to be delivered easily to all students and highlights the opportunity to increase ana-tomical knowledge in senior years of the medical curricula and en-hance clinical anatomical education. Ethical approval was obtained from the University of Aberdeen College Ethics Review Board (CERB/2020/9/1998).
Original languageEnglish
Article number015
Pages (from-to)938
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Anatomy
Issue number4
Early online date22 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021


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