A comparative analysis of lectures versus interactive computer-assisted learning packages for the teaching and learning of anatomy by tertiary students
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The primary aim of this study was to validate interactive computer-assisted learning packages (ICALP) in a self operated computer controlled educational resource (SOCCER) to undergraduate (UG) physiotherapy students of anatomy. The development of ICALP, Test and FeedBack items for SOCCER are described, as well as the mechanism of delivery with continuous positive reinforcement to randomly selected students. To meet this requirement, a computer managed learning environment (CMLE) was established to affirm the value of ICALP and SOCCER materials to replace traditional lectures in anatomy. Quantitative data is given to verify this hypothesis during the education of UG physiotherapy students of anatomy. Throughout 1992, the UG population was randomly divided into Lecture and ICALP groups, with mutual exclusion of each to the other, for ten areas of study. These results were validated by re-application to the succeeding UG population in 1993. The secondary aim of this study was in two-parts. Firstly, to verify that ICALP materials can be applied to transfer 2-D cognitive anatomical information in a self-paced format of autonomous learning. Secondly, to investigate a premise that previously acquired 2-D anatomical information may be transferred into a 3-D psycho-motor skill. Ample data is given to verify the first hypothesis, with sufficient evidence to support the second. The subsidiary aim of this study compared the educational and administrative cost-effectiveness of ICALP and SOCCER with traditional lectures used in anatomy. Evidence is given to demonstrate that the time saved in lectures can be replaced by a lecture-seminar approach to problem-based learning to empower UG2 students to achieve at a level beyond that which would normally be expected. Sufficient data is provided to affirm the cost-benefits of ICALP and SOCCER to academic staff, individual students, and administrators. The untested belief held by schools of anatomy that high ranking pre-entrants in English, English Literature, and Human Biology, are more likely to transpose 2-D anatomical information into a 3-D skill than high ranking pre-entrants in Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics was also investigated. Scrutiny of these data could not determine any discriminatory differences of ability to succeed in UG anatomy by either of these two categories.
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