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Bodybuilding: an anatomical model project in a paramedic education program.

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Background Anatomy is a subject where learning is not possible by studying books or hand-outs alone. The best method to teach anatomy continues to be widely debated. Previous research conducted mainly in medical students supports the principle of a model building exercise to improve anatomy knowledge retention. Methods Paramedic students were assigned to groups and each group was given an anatomical model to construct. These models were required to be 1) anatomically correct, and 2) useful as a teaching aid. This research study aimed to investigate students’ perceptions on the utility of this model construction assignment as a means to learn anatomical structures. In addition, their perceptions of the inclusion of 3D modelling software and self-directed learning materials were investigated. Results and findings The survey had a 48% response rate with 22 students out of 46 completing it in full. The majority of respondents (73%, n=16) enjoyed the assignment and found it interesting. Half of all respondents indicated it impacted on their normal studying habits. Its’ utility in teaching and reinforcing anatomical knowledge appears questionable with only 9 (41%) respondents indicated they found it useful. However, over 90% (n=20) agreed it was useful in aiding them to visualize anatomy in 3D. The majority (73%, n=16) indicated it was easy to work within a group for this project. The use of additional learning resources such as 3D anatomy software and podcasts varied among the respondents. Conclusion The results and findings of this survey indicate that this is a potentially useful exercise in helping students to learn anatomy. The utility of this exercise in promoting teamwork and student collaboration appears to be encouraging. Suggestions to improve the assignment included a demonstration session of all models to aid understanding, and the ability to pick groups rather than being assigned.
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Bodybuilding: an anatomical model project in a
paramedic education program.
Alan M. Batt MSc1-3, C. William Johnston BA(Hons.)1,4
Author affiliations: 1. Paramedic Programs, Fanshawe College, ON, Canada 2. Centre for Paramedic Education and Research, Hamilton Health Sciences ON,
Canada, 3. Portland Community College, OR, USA. 4. Middlesex-London EMS, ON, Canada
Background
Anatomy is a subject where learning is not possible by studying books or notes alone. The best method to teach anatomy continues to
be widely debated. Previous research conducted mainly on medical students supports the principle of model building exercises to
improve anatomy knowledge retention (1). In addition, the inclusion of models and multimedia learning strategies has shown
favourable results to date in other health professions students. (2-4) We sought to investigate students perceptions of the inclusion of
these educational approaches in a flipped curriculum in the first year of a primary care paramedic (PCP) program.
Methods
First year PCP students were assigned to groups and each group was given an anatomical model to construct. These
models were required to be anatomically correct, and useful as a teaching aid. Recycled materials were to be used where
possible. Students perceptions on the utility of this model construction assignment as a means to learn anatomical
structures, their perceptions of the inclusion of BioDigital Human® 3D modelling software, and self-directed learning
resources such as videos and podcasts were then investigated through an optional survey at the end of the semester.
Discussion
This was a novel model-making exercise implemented in a second semester anatomy & physiology subject. Overall students appear
to be receptive of the exercise, and the majority indicated they found it useful, with suggestions made to improve its utility in
future. Interestingly, the use of digital resources was lower than we were expecting, in particular the use of the 3D software.
Further research into the utility of both the model-making exercise and the 3D software is planned.
References
1. Mallashetty, N. et al. V 2015. Model making exercise- A new tool for teaching & learning anatomy and perception of students towards it. 3(1), 3436.
2. Brenton, H. et al.2007. Using multimedia and Web3D to enhance anatomy teaching. Computers and Education 49(1), 3253.
3. Chan, L., Cheng, M. 2011.An analysis of the educational value of low-fidelity anatomy models as external representations. Anatomical Sciences Education
4(5), 256263.
4. Zumwalt, A. et al.2010. Building the body: Active learning laboratories that emphasize practical aspects of anatomy and integration with radiology.
Anatomical Sciences Education 3(3), 134140
Figure 1. A selection of the anatomical models constructed by paramedic students.
Models
Eight models were constructed by seven student groups: brain, skin cross-section, uterus, kidneys, heart (2), lungs and
digestive system. Materials used during construction of the models included papier-mâché, cardboard, wood, metal,
dried pasta, electrical cable, modelling clay, anda whoopee cushion (digestive system model). One group [brain]
Survey Results
A total of 22 responses were received from a possible 46 students (49% response rate).
Their perceptions of the exercise are outlined in Figure 2. Student suggestions to
improve the utility of the exercise included the provision of a peer-led teaching session
using the models (each group would teach using their respective model) and letting
students create the groups. The students use of digital resources is outlined in Figure 3.
included QR codes at various anatomical landmarks, which can be scanned by a barcode app to
obtain further information (name of landmark, function etc.), while most groups included a legend to
identified landmarks on their given model. Several of the models constructed can be seen in Figure 1.
Figure 2. Student perceptions of the model-building exercise. Figure 3. Student use of provided digital resources within the anatomy & physiology subject.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
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Anatomy teaching is undergoing significant changes due to time constraints, limited availability of cadavers and technological developments in the areas of three-dimensional modelling and computer-assisted learning. This paper gives an overview of methods used to teach anatomy to undergraduate medical students and discusses the educational advantages and disadvantages of using three-dimensional computer models. A ‘work in progress’ account is then given of a project to develop two Web3D resources to enhance undergraduate tuition of the nervous system. Our approach is to support existing curricula using advanced modelling tools and a variety of delivery mechanisms.The first resource is a three-dimensional model of the adult brachial plexus: a network of nerves extending from the neck down to the shoulder, arm, hand, and fingers. This will be incorporated into existing didactic classroom teaching under the supervision of an anatomy teacher. The second resource is a piece of online courseware which will teach the embryological development of the brachial plexus. The delivery method will be the WebSET framework, a collaborative environment that allows a teacher to manipulate 3D models over the Web in real time whilst providing explanation and help to students. In this way the courseware can be used for both self-directed study and ‘virtual anatomy demonstrations’ within an online peer group.
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Although high-fidelity digital models of human anatomy based on actual cross-sectional images of the human body have been developed, reports on the use of physical models in anatomy teaching continue to appear. This article aims to examine the common features shared by these physical models and analyze their educational value based on the literature on cognition, learning, and external representations. A literature search on these physical models in three popular anatomy journals published over a 10-year period from 2001 to 2010 found that all of them have low fidelity: they oftentimes do not closely resemble the regions of the human body they are representing. They include only a small number of the structures that exist in these regions of the human body and do not accurately represent the shape and surface details of these structures. However, these models strongly correspond to the human body in the spatial relationship of the represented structures, which is crucial to achieving their educational purpose of teaching three-dimensional comprehension and anatomical reasoning. The educational value of these models includes acting as memory aids, reducing cognitive overload, facilitating problem solving, and arousing students' enthusiasm and participation. Because these models often lack a close resemblance to the human body, their use in anatomy teaching should always be accompanied by adequate explanations to the students to establish the correspondence between the models and the parts of the human body they are representing.
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Active learning exercises were developed to allow advanced medical students to revisit and review anatomy in a clinically meaningful context. In our curriculum, students learn anatomy two to three years before they participate in the radiology clerkship. These educational exercises are designed to review anatomy content while highlighting its relevance to the study of radiology. Laboratory exercises were developed using inexpensive materials in the form of hands-on stations designed for use by students working together in small groups. Station exercises include model building, exploring relevant radiological imaging, and practicing clinical techniques. Students are encouraged to move from abstract conceptualization of the anatomy using models to applying knowledge to living tissues by using a portable ultrasound to explore superficial anatomy on each other. Stations are designed to integrate knowledge and reemphasize concepts in different contexts, so that upon completion students have a reinforced understanding of the three-dimensional anatomy of the region in question, the appearance of the anatomy on radiological images, and an appreciation of the relevance of the anatomy to radiological procedures.
Model making exercise-A new tool for teaching & learning anatomy and perception of students towards it
  • N Mallashetty
Mallashetty, N. et al. V 2015. Model making exercise-A new tool for teaching & learning anatomy and perception of students towards it. 3(1), 34-36.