Effectiveness of using blended learning strategies for teaching and learning human anatomy

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Abstract

Objectives

This study aimed to implement innovative teaching methods − blended learning strategies − that include the use of new information technologies in the teaching of human anatomy and to analyse both the impact of these strategies on academic performance, and the degree of user satisfaction.

Methods

The study was carried out among students in Year 1 of the biology degree curriculum (human biology profile) at Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona. Two groups of students were tested on knowledge of the anatomy of the locomotor system and results compared between groups. Blended learning strategies were employed in 1 group (BL group, n = 69); the other (TT group; n = 65) received traditional teaching aided by complementary material that could be accessed on the Internet. Both groups were evaluated using the same types of examination.

Results

The average marks presented statistically significant differences (BL 6.3 versus TT 5.0; P < 0.0001). The percentage pass rate for the subject in the first call was higher in the BL group (87.9% versus 71.4%; P = 0.02), reflecting a lower incidence of students who failed to sit the examination (BL 4.3% versus TT 13.8%; P = 0.05). There were no differences regarding overall satisfaction with the teaching received.

Conclusions

Blended learning was more effective than traditional teaching for teaching human anatomy.

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