Skip to main content
Log in

Strategies to Effectively Utilize Images in Anatomical Teaching and Assessment

  • Monograph
  • Published:
Medical Science Educator Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Anatomical images are commonly used in the teaching process to help students understand the spatial orientation of anatomical structures. Previous research has shown that images effectively visualize the relationship between anatomical structures that are difficult to comprehend through verbal or written explanations alone. However, there is a lack of guidelines that specifically address the various methods of utilizing anatomical images and delivering them through multimedia and cognitive load principles. This article aims to provide a concise overview of the proper utilization and delivery of anatomical images and how these images can facilitate student interaction.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  1. Jastrow H, Vollrath L. Teaching and learning gross anatomy using modern electronic media based on the visible human project. Clin Anat. 2003;16(1):44–54. https://doi.org/10.1002/ca.10062.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Park JS, Chung MS, Hwang SB, Shin BS, Park HS. Visible Korean Human: its techniques and applications. Clin Anat. 2006;19(3):216–24. https://doi.org/10.1002/ca.20275.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Narayanan S, Ananthy V. The influence of learning style in understanding analogies and 2D animations in embryology course. Anat Cell Biol. 2018;51(4):260–5. https://doi.org/10.5115/acb.2018.51.4.260.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Bobek E, Tversky B. Creating visual explanations improves learning. Cogn Res Princ Implic. 2016;1(1):27. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41235-016-0031-6.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Mayer RE. Designing multimedia instruction in anatomy: an evidence-based approach. Clin Anat. 2020;33(1):2–11. https://doi.org/10.1002/ca.23265.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. van Merriënboer JJ, Sweller J. Cognitive load theory in health professional education: design principles and strategies. Med Educ. 2010;44(1):85–93. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2923.2009.03498.x.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Wilson TD. Role of image and cognitive load in anatomical multimedia. In: Chan LK, Pawlina W, editors. Teaching anatomy: a practical guide. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International; 2015. p. 237–46. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-08930-0_27.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  8. Mahajan R, Gupta K, Gupta P, Kukreja S, Singh T. Multimedia instructional design principles: moving from theoretical rationale to practical applications. Indian Pediatr. 2020;57(6):555–60.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Azzam MB, Easteal RA. Pedagogical strategies for the enhancement of medical education. Med Sci Educ. 2021;31(6):2041–8. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40670-021-01385-w.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Hochstrasser K, Stoddard HA. Use of cognitive load theory to deploy instructional technology for undergraduate medical education: a scoping review. Med Sci Educ. 2022;32(2):553–9. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40670-021-01499-1.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Grech V. The application of the Mayer multimedia learning theory to medical PowerPoint slide show presentations. J Vis Commun Med. 2018;41(1):36–41. https://doi.org/10.1080/17453054.2017.1408400.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Issa N, Schuller M, Santacaterina S, et al. Applying multimedia design principles enhances learning in medical education. Med Educ. 2011;45(8):818–26. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2923.2011.03988.x.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Hadie SNH, Abdul Manan Sulong H, Hassan A, Mohd Ismail ZI, Talip S, Abdul Rahim AF. Creating an engaging and stimulating anatomy lecture environment using the cognitive load theory-based lecture model: students’ experiences. J Taibah Univ Med Sci. 2018;13(2):162–72. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtumed.2017.11.001.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Mitrousias V, Karachalios TS, Varitimidis SE, Natsis K, Arvanitis DL, Zibis AH. Anatomy learning from prosected cadaveric specimens versus plastic models: a comparative study of upper limb anatomy. Anat Sci Educ. 2020;13(4):436–44. https://doi.org/10.1002/ase.1911.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Fenesi B, Mackinnon C, Cheng L, Kim JA, Wainman BC. The effect of image quality, repeated study, and assessment method on anatomy learning. Anat Sci Educ. 2017;10(3):249–61. https://doi.org/10.1002/ase.1657.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Dettmer S, Tschernig T, Galanski M, Pabst R, Rieck B. Teaching surgery, radiology and anatomy together: the mix enhances motivation and comprehension. Surg Radiol Anat. 2010;32(8):791–5. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00276-010-0694-5.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Marker DR, Bansal AK, Juluru K, Magid D. Developing a radiology-based teaching approach for gross anatomy in the digital era. Acad Radiol. 2010;17(8):1057–65. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acra.2010.02.016.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Abid B, Hentati N, Chevallier JM, Ghorbel A, Delmas V, Douard R. Traditional versus three-dimensional teaching of peritoneal embryogenesis: a comparative prospective study. Surg Radiol Anat. 2010;32(7):647–52. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00276-010-0653-1.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Hadie SNH. Five tips for managing diagrams in anatomy lecture: the cognitive load theory perspective. Education in Medicine Journal. 2020;12(3):65–74. https://doi.org/10.21315/eimj2020.12.3.8.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Wainman B, Wolak L, Pukas G, Zheng E, Norman GR. The superiority of three-dimensional physical models to two-dimensional computer presentations in anatomy learning. Med Educ. 2018;52(11):1138–46. https://doi.org/10.1111/medu.13683.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Gross MM, Wright MC, Anderson OS. Effects of image-based and text-based active learning exercises on student examination performance in a musculoskeletal anatomy course. Anat Sci Educ. 2017;10(5):444–55. https://doi.org/10.1002/ase.1684.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Vorstenbosch MA, Klaassen TP, Kooloos JG, Bolhuis SM, Laan RF. Do images influence assessment in anatomy? Exploring the effect of images on item difficulty and item discrimination. Anat Sci Educ. 2013;6(1):29–41. https://doi.org/10.1002/ase.1290.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Rizzolo LJ, Stewart WB. Should we continue teaching anatomy by dissection when …? Anat Rec B New Anat. 2006;289(6):215–8. https://doi.org/10.1002/ar.b.20117.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Mangione S. You can observe a lot by watching. Cleve Clin J Med. 2019;86(7):440–2. https://doi.org/10.3949/ccjm.86a.19056.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Russell SW. Improving observational skills to enhance the clinical examination. Med Clin North Am. 2018;102(3):495–507. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mcna.2017.12.011.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Jasani SK, Saks NS. Utilizing visual art to enhance the clinical observation skills of medical students. Med Teach. 2013;35(7):e1327–31. https://doi.org/10.3109/0142159X.2013.770131.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Drake RL, McBride JM, Lachman N, Pawlina W. Medical education in the anatomical sciences: the winds of change continue to blow. Anat Sci Educ. 2009;2(6):253–9. https://doi.org/10.1002/ase.117.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Marsh KR, Giffin BF, Lowrie DJ Jr. Medical student retention of embryonic development: impact of the dimensions added by multimedia tutorials. Anat Sci Educ. 2008;1(6):252–7. https://doi.org/10.1002/ase.56.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Berney S, Bétrancourt M, Molinari G, Hoyek N. How spatial abilities and dynamic visualizations interplay when learning functional anatomy with 3D anatomical models. Anat Sci Educ. 2015;8(5):452–62. https://doi.org/10.1002/ase.1524.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Rubin LR, Lackey WL, Kennedy FA, Stephenson RB. Using color and grayscale images to teach histology to color-deficient medical students. Anat Sci Educ. 2009;2(2):84–8. https://doi.org/10.1002/ase.72.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Naegle KM. Ten simple rules for effective presentation slides. PLoS Comput Biol. 2021;17(12):e1009554. Published 2021 Dec 2. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1009554

  32. Taylor DC, Hamdy H. Adult learning theories: implications for learning and teaching in medical education: AMEE Guide No. 83. Med Teach. 2013;35(11):1561–72. https://doi.org/10.3109/0142159X.2013.828153.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Beermann J, Tetzlaff R, Bruckner T, et al. Three-dimensional visualisation improves understanding of surgical liver anatomy. Med Educ. 2010;44(9):936–40. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2923.2010.03742.x.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Choudhury B, Freemont A. Assessment of anatomical knowledge: approaches taken by higher education institutions. Clin Anat. 2017;30(3):290–9. https://doi.org/10.1002/ca.22835.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Sagoo MG, Smith CF, Gosden E. Assessment of anatomical knowledge by practical examinations: the effect of question design on student performance. Anat Sci Educ. 2016;9(5):446–52. https://doi.org/10.1002/ase.1597.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Yaqinuddin A, Zafar M, Ikram MF, Ganguly P. What is an objective structured practical examination in anatomy? Anat Sci Educ. 2013;6(2):125–33. https://doi.org/10.1002/ase.1305.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Clunie L, Morris NP, Joynes VCT, Pickering JD. How comprehensive are research studies investigating the efficacy of technology-enhanced learning resources in anatomy education? A systematic review Anat Sci Educ. 2018;11(3):303–19. https://doi.org/10.1002/ase.1762.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Donkin R, Rasmussen R. Student perception and the effectiveness of Kahoot!: a scoping review in histology, anatomy, and medical education. Anat Sci Educ. 2021;14(5):572–85. https://doi.org/10.1002/ase.2094.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Mishall PL, Burton W, Risley M. Flashcards: the preferred online game-based study tool self-selected by students to review medical histology image content. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2023;1406:209–24. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-26462-7_10.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Narayanan S, Shankar N, Ananthy V. Medical student’s perception to different types of set induction in anatomy lectures. Anat Cell Biol. 2019;52(3):296–301. https://doi.org/10.5115/acb.19.016.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Dao V, Yeh PH, Vogel KS, Moore CM. Applied neuroanatomy elective to reinforce and promote engagement with neurosensory pathways using interactive and artistic activities. Anat Sci Educ. 2015;8(2):166–74. https://doi.org/10.1002/ase.1469.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Subbiramaniyan V, Apte C, Ali MC. A meme-based approach for enhancing student engagement and learning in renal physiology. Adv Physiol Educ. 2022;46(1):27–9. https://doi.org/10.1152/advan.00092.2021.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Rajprasath Ramakrishnan.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no competing interests.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Springer Nature or its licensor (e.g. a society or other partner) holds exclusive rights to this article under a publishing agreement with the author(s) or other rightsholder(s); author self-archiving of the accepted manuscript version of this article is solely governed by the terms of such publishing agreement and applicable law.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Narayanan, S., Ramakrishnan, R. Strategies to Effectively Utilize Images in Anatomical Teaching and Assessment. Med.Sci.Educ. 34, 671–678 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40670-024-02030-y

Download citation

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40670-024-02030-y

Keywords

Navigation