This event has ended. Visit the official site or create your own event on Sched.
Back To Schedule
Wednesday, June 22 • 16:45 - 18:00
POSTER.20 - Improving Student Learning Outcomes by Incorporating a 3D Neuroanatomy E-Learning Resource

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Neuroanatomy is one of the most challenging topics in anatomy, with many novice students considering it to be the most difficult, primarily due to the difficulty of developing a clear understanding of highly-complex spatial relationships that exist between structures. Of growing concern is the need to develop resources capable of minimizing the effects of students’ intrinsic individual differences such as spatial ability. Previously, 3D resources have been shown to be beneficial to learning outcomes in other spatially demanding subject areas including geography, chemistry, and mathematics, however it has yet to be investigated in the area of neuroanatomy.

An interactive 3D e-learning resource was developed that enabled students to customize the pace and order of information, freely navigate between structures and choose their preferred viewpoint. Eighty-seven participants completed the cross-over study, which separated participants into two groups. Each group completed baseline anatomy knowledge and spatial ability assessments, followed by access to either the 3D e-learning or gross anatomy resources. Participants completed a post-module anatomy assessment prior to accessing the other learning modality. A final post-module knowledge assessment was administered following exposure to the second learning modality.

Students who initially accessed the 3D module scored significantly higher on the proceeding assessment than students who initially accessed the gross anatomy laboratory. Students who accessed 3D learning resources following gross anatomy resources, significantly improved on the final assessment. A negative correlation was observed between spatial ability and change in assessment score following access to the 3D module, demonstrating students with low spatial ability experienced a greater positive effect on learning outcomes than students with high spatial ability.

Results of this study will establish evidence-based guiding principles that will facilitate the design and deployment of effective 3D e-learning resources, particularly for spatially complex disciplines including the health sciences, geography, architecture, and visual arts.


Lauren Allen

Lauren Allen, MSc is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, at The University of Western Ontario. She is investigating the impact of 3D visualization technologies and learning resources in medical educatio... Read More →

Additional Authors

Roy Eagleson

Roy Eagleson, Ph.D., P.Eng., is a professor in the Department of Electrical and Software Engineering, Faculty of Engineering at the Western University, London, Ontario, Canada. He is also an associate scientist at the Robarts Research Institute, and a scientist and principal investigator... Read More →

Sandrine DeRibaupierre

Sandrine de Ribaupierre, M.D., F.R.C.S.C., is an associate professor of neurosurgery at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at the Western University, London, Ontario, Canada. She is working as a pediatric neurosurgeon. Her main research areas are in the use of virtual reality... Read More →

Wednesday June 22, 2016 16:45 - 18:00 EDT
Atrium, Physics & Astronomy Building Western University