University Of Tasmania

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Medical student preferences for self-directed study resources in gross anatomy

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 11:37 authored by Derek Choi-LundbergDerek Choi-Lundberg, Tze Feng LowTze Feng Low, Patman, P, Paul TurnerPaul Turner, Sankar SinhaSankar Sinha
Gross anatomy instruction in medical curricula involve a range of resources and activities including dissection, prosected specimens, anatomical models, radiological images, surface anatomy, textbooks, atlases, and computer-assisted learning (CAL). These resources and activities are underpinned by the expectation that students will actively engage in self-directed study (SDS) to enhance their knowledge and understanding of anatomy. To gain insight into preclinical versus clinical medical students' preferences for SDS resources for learning gross anatomy, and whether these vary on demographic characteristics and attitudes toward anatomy, students were surveyed at two Australian medical schools, one undergraduate-entry and the other graduate-entry. Lecture/tutorial/practical notes were ranked first by 33% of 156 respondents (mean rank ±  SD, 2.48  ±  1.38), textbooks by 26% (2.62  ±  1.35), atlases 20% (2.80  ±  1.44), videos 10% (4.34  ±  1.68), software 5% (4.78  ±  1.50), and websites 4% (4.24  ±  1.34). Among CAL resources, Wikipedia was ranked highest. The most important factor in selecting CAL resources was cost (ranked first by 46%), followed by self-assessment, ease of use, alignment with curriculum, and excellent graphics (each 6-9%). Compared with preclinical students, clinical students ranked software and Acland's Video Atlas of Human Anatomy higher and felt radiological images were more important in selecting CAL resources. Along with other studies reporting on the quality, features, and impact on learning of CAL resources, the diversity of students' preferences and opinions on usefulness and ease of use reported here can help guide faculty in selecting and recommending a range of CAL and other resources to their students to support their self-directed study.


Publication title

Anatomical sciences education








Tasmanian School of Medicine


John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Place of publication

United States

Rights statement

Copyright 2015 American Association of Anatomists

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Learner and learning not elsewhere classified