Online anatomy and physiology: piloting the use of an anatomy and physiology e-book–VLE hybrid in pre-registration and post-qualifying nursing programmes at the University of Salford

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Anatomy and physiology (A&P) teaching and learning in nursing curricula poses problems for educators because of the often varying levels of students' background knowledge. This study reports on a pilot project that attempted to normalize these differentials by delivering A&P teaching using an online interactive e-book–virtual learning environment (VLE) hybrid.


Evaluate the effectiveness of using an online interactive resource to deliver A&P teaching.


Data were collected from pre-registration and post-qualifying students by questionnaire and observation, and from lecturers by structured interviews. Scale-up issues were identified and documented as part of support for the ongoing pilot.


The pre-registration group encountered problems accessing the resource and yielded evidence to suggest that inexperienced learners require a high level of direction to use the resource effectively. The post-qualifying group benefited from the resource's interactive elements and 24/7 availability. There was clear evidence that the group were able to relate knowledge gained from the resource to practice.


This hybrid has great potential to add value to A&P learning on nursing programmes at post-qualifying level. The resource could replace its printed equivalent; however, negotiations need to take place between institutions and publishers in order to resolve scale-up issues.

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