Designing Gross Anatomy Laboratory to Meet the Needs of Today’s Learner

  • Quenton WesselsEmail author
  • Willie Vorster
  • Christian Jacobson


There are three key aspects to anatomy pedagogy: the when, the how much, and the how. The relative importance of all three will vary to a certain extent depending on teaching methods but all require an adequate learning environment. In the design of this learning environment, student learning, local culture, and assessment all need to be taken into consideration. Within this context as much attention should be given to the development of the informal and hidden curricula as to that of the formal curriculum. Ultimately, it is assessment and its environment that will drive learning. Here the authors provide a succinct, practical, and problem-oriented approach to the design of gross anatomy laboratories that addresses the needs of today’s anatomy student. The authors also include key design considerations as well as aspects of the design process. This includes the provision for appropriate sensory stimulation, plumbing and electricity requirements, floor area for each student, the attainment of learning objectives, catering for assessment, e-learning capabilities, and a dynamic environment that can be suitably reconfigured.


Objective Structure Clinical Examination Anatomy Laboratory Audience Response System User Client Teaching Space 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Quenton Wessels
    • 1
    Email author
  • Willie Vorster
    • 2
  • Christian Jacobson
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Lancaster Medical School, Faculty of Health and MedicineLancaster UniversityLancasterUK
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy, School of MedicineUniversity of NamibiaWindhoekNamibia
  3. 3.Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Biochemistry and Physiological ChemistryUniversity of NamibiaWindhoekNamibia
  4. 4.Department of BiologyUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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