The Freedman Center

Freedman Fellow -- Susanne Wish-Baratz

WishBaratz

I serve as co-leader of the Human Anatomy Course at Case School of Medicine and I have been teaching medical anatomy for over twenty years. At Case, in response to the many fewer hours available in the curriculum for the teaching of anatomy, we have developed several "new ways" of teaching anatomy. These include short instructional videos, voice-over powerpoint presentations, targeted study guides, weekly formative assessments, video-streamed "old-fashioned" lectures – all exercises in which students can engage during their free time. In addition, the students still perform some dissections; however, much "complicated" anatomy, such as that of the cranial cavity, neck, and pelvis, is presented to them in demonstrations of pre-dissected specimens. Much of the interactivity that I, and many other anatomy educators, feel is essential to the learning of anatomy and that previously occurred during dissection laboratories has been lost. In addition, the fact that Human Anatomy occupies less than 10% of their class time each week understandably leads the students to place a relatively low priority on anatomical studies.

In order to discover additional, more interactive and more appealing ways to convey the information that I believe is critical for our students' education, I started attending KS Learn sessions at the Kelvin Smith Library. Through KS Learns, I discovered the Freedman Center. I believe that in order to reach the greatest number of medical students I have to learn the multimedia technologies and digital tools with which my twenty-first century students are most comfortable. I am interested in and open to learning and implementing any methods that can improve medical student anatomy learning and retention. One tool I have considered is "Articulate Presenter" which allows one to import narration and other media as well as interactivity into a power point presentation and which permits real-time assessment. Articulate presentations can also be converted into pod casts which many medical students have indicated would render the material much more accessible. It is my hope that this, or similar, digital augmentations to our current and relatively "old-fashioned" teaching modalities might increase student interest and improve student performance in the medical school anatomy course.

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