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When entering the healthcare field, cadaver labs are usually included when taking an anatomy course. It gives students the opportunity to learn about the human body with real human cadavers. This in the past has been looked at as a great tool for success, but in the recent years as technology keeps advancing new and different tools are being produced that give students the chance to learn from many different resources. In this research paper, the independent variable represents the variable that can be controlled or changed which in this experiment is the number of students in each class.
Each class consists of 130-135 student, and 56% being male and 44% being female. All students that are being tested attend Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, in New York. The Dependent variable is the variable that the researcher is testing. The researcher is testing the student’s performance when using cadavers, holographic models, and plastinated specimens as different learning tools.
The hypothesis of my research article was “teaching gross anatomy with non-traditional approaches including manipulable computer-aided 3-dimensional models, can improve exam performance, and presumably mastery of anatomical knowledge”(918).
The research began with setting guidelines of how many hours a week each student would spend with each different learning tool. Each student spends two hours with the cadaver, and the teacher provides a list of certain structures that need to be identified. One hour was spent with the holographic models, where all of the structures had been labeled. Another hour was spent inspecting plastinated specimens that included a complete region of the body.
Also, all of the structure were labeled on these models. The student’s performance was evaluated with “five written examinations and three or four practical examinations”(919). The number of question on each learning model related to the amount of time the spent on that model. So there were more questions on the cadaver because the student had two hours a week with the cadaver compare to one hour a week with the holographic model and the plastinated specimens. All of the information was analyzed and the results were found.
This study found that there was a big difference between the student that had been in the top quintile verse the bottom quintile. The students that were in the top quintile performed poorer on the holographic model and higher on the cadaver. The students that were in the bottom quintile had performed the exact opposite. They had gotten higher scores on the holographic model and lower scores on the cadaver. This data was taken and compared to the scores the students had on three different sections of their MCAT. They found that the students that were in the top quintile achieved higher scores on the biological science section and score substantially lower on the verbal section of the MCAT. On the other hand, the students that had been in the bottom quintile performed significantly lower on the Biological science section compared to the top quintile. Also, they found that the students in the bottom quintile had higher scores on the verbal section of the MCAT compared to the top quintile. For the top and bottom quintile, it is made very clear the strengths of these to groups are opposite of each other.
The significance of this research article is the fact that there are new tools being implemented into the education of medical student which has the ability to create a clearer understanding of the body, and how it works. The hypothesis was right in a sense because it showed how the students in the bottom quintile benefited from the holographic model, but the students in the top quintile performed better on the cadavers. This shows that every student has their strengths and weaknesses, and learns and processes information differently. The more resources that are available to the student the more likely they will succeed and get better grades in their classes. This new technology could have a great effect on how anatomy and the cadaver labs could be used in the future. It gives access to the students from home that can be used as a tool to study, and it can highlight the exact structures that a student is trying to look at. This alternative way of learning can also promote an easier learning path for those that have learning disabilities. From personal experience with having a learning disability, it is very beneficial to have multiple learning resources on hand. When given the opportunity to learn content in different ways it always helps when it is the way that your brain learns the information.
Everyone has their different strength and weakness which had been pointed out in the research article, but it all depends on what you do to make your learning experience as worth wild as possible. With these new ways of learning the human body, it has the potential to advance the medical field, and increase the knowledge of the students wanting to get into the medical field. Thanks to Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine for providing a state-of-the-art anatomy teaching facility, and to Stany Lobo the course director, and Stephen Moorman and David Yens for helping put together the manuscript. There is no conflict of interest that may affect the outcome of this study. The data was collected and summarized to indicated whether the “Use of Computer-Aided Holographic Models Improves Performance in a Cadaver Dissection-Based Course in Gross Anatomy”. This was a very interesting research topic that shows how different people benefit from different learning styles.
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