First Year Student Perception and Experience of Online Topographical Anatomy Laboratory Classes using Zoom Technology during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Rudi Klein*, Chiara Tomassoni, Gayathri Rajaraman, Maxwell K. Winchester, Norman Eizenberg, Puspha Sinnayah

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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During semester one of 2020, the units ‘Functional Anatomy of the Trunk’ and ‘Functional Anatomy of the Limbs’ which focus on human topographical anatomy were re-designed into an online delivery format and taught remotely in response to the COVID-19 lockdown. It was expected that the move to remote teaching would negatively impact student perception and learning experience, in particular that of the cadaver-based laboratory work. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the replacement of traditional face-to-face cadaver-based anatomy laboratories with an online version using digital anatomy resources and Zoom technology as the communication platform would achieve comparable student learning experience and outcomes. First Year Students (n=69) enrolled in these units were invited to participate in this study and were asked at the conclusion of each unit to complete an anonymous opinion-based survey via Qualtrics. The Qualtrics data, student grades and Learning Management System (LMS) statistics were analysed. Results indicate that student perception of the online gross anatomy laboratory learning was positive and that it had complemented their learning. Most students agreed that as a visual learning resource, it provided an improved understanding of anatomy and helped with the application of anatomical knowledge. Interestingly, student performance showed a similar range of marks compared with previous years. However, students strongly agreed that the online 2D learning experience had significant limitations when compared to live use of cadavers in laboratories.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)17-31
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • COVID-19 lockdown
  • E-learning
  • Topographical anatomy laboratory
  • Active learning

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