Enhancing the learning of anatomy

24 August 2018 | Story Pete van der Woude. Photo Leonard Shapiro. Read time 1 min.
The haptico‐visual observation and drawing method, introduced to UCT’s Division of Clinical Anatomy and Biological Anthropology by Leonard Shapiro, applies scientific thinking and method to the field of observation in anatomy education.
The haptico‐visual observation and drawing method, introduced to UCT’s Division of Clinical Anatomy and Biological Anthropology by Leonard Shapiro, applies scientific thinking and method to the field of observation in anatomy education.

In a paper recently published in Anatomical Sciences Education, University of Cape Town (UCT) academics reveal how students can better learn anatomy using an observation method that includes the sense of touch and drawing.

The qualitative paper shows that students’ engagement with three‐dimensional representations of anatomy (such as cadaveric dissection), as opposed to two‐dimensional representations, is important in terms of the depth of their comprehension.

The five second-year UCT medical students who employed the “haptico‐visual observation and drawing” method reported an improvement of their cognitive understanding and memorisation of the three-dimensional form of the anatomical part they were studying.

The inclusion of the sense of touch (haptics) as an important sensory modality has implications for cadaveric dissection versus non‐cadaveric forms of learning.

The authors of “How Haptics and Drawing Enhance the Learning of Anatomy” are Professor Stephen Reid from the Primary Health Care Directorate in the Faculty of Health Sciences, and Professor Graham Louw and Leonard Shapiro from the Division of Clinical Anatomy and Biological Anthropology in the Department of Human Biology, also in the Faculty of Health Sciences.

Read the paper.


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