Anatomy "steeplechase" online: Necessity sometimes is the catalyst for innovation

Ibrahim Muhammad Inuwa, Maimouna Al Rawahy, Varna Taranikanti, Omar Habbal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In most medical schools, summative practical examination in Anatomy usually takes the format of a "steeplechase" ("spotters" or "bell ringers") conducted in the gross anatomy laboratory using cadaveric material and prosected specimens. Recently, we have started to administer similar examinations online using the quiz facility in WebCT™ and Moodle™. This article chronicles how we conceived and developed this method within the peculiar nature of our medical school setting. Over a five year period, practical summative examinations were organized as "steeplechase" online. The online examinations were administered using WebCT™ and later Moodle™ learning management software. Assessment "objects" were created from the materials available for anatomy teaching. These were digital images of cadaveric materials, radiological, and prosected specimens. In addition, short video clips of 30 seconds duration demonstrating muscle action were produced. These objects were optimized for online viewing and then uploaded onto the learning management software. A bank of questions (multiple choice or short answer type) was then created and linked to the assessment objects. These were used in place of the steeplechase in the computer laboratory. This method serves a crucial purpose in places like ours where continuous availability of human cadavers is impossible. Although time consuming initially, once questions are setup online, future retrieval, and administration becomes convenient especially where there are large batches of students. In addition, the online environment offers distinct advantages with regards to image quality, psychometric analysis of the examination and reduction of staff preparation time compared to traditional "steeplechase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-118
Number of pages4
JournalAnatomical Sciences Education
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011

Keywords

  • Anatomy education
  • Assessment
  • Computers in anatomical education
  • Dissection anatomy
  • Practical examination
  • Undergraduate medical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology
  • Embryology

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