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Abstract or Description

Introduction: It is critical to evaluate student experience with any newly integrated educational resource. In 2018, a Distal Upper Limb (DUL) Anatomy eModule was developed for first-year medical students at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, who have historically identified the DUL as a region of difficulty. This mixed methods study sought to (1) evaluate learner perception of the eModule relative to other resources, and (2) identify eModule content and features that students found valuable.

Methods: The DUL eModule was made available to first-year medical students in 2019 (n= 132), 2020 (n=131), and 2021 (n=131) as a voluntary, supplemental resource. In 2019-2021, all eModule users were prompted to complete a post-eModule, pre-exam survey. In 2021, users were also asked to complete a post-eModule, post-exam survey. Both surveys included a combination of Likert-type and free-response questions.

Results: In the post-eModule, pre-exam survey, a majority of students from all three years agreed or strongly agreed that the eModule was convenient, preferred compared to a textbook or didactic lecture, and applicable to the gross anatomy lab, though opinions were more split when comparing the eModule to studying from a gross specimen. In the post-eModule, post-exam survey, greater than 75% of students agreed or strongly agreed that the eModule prepared them to answer DUL exam questions, and was a useful adjunct to learning DUL anatomy. In the survey’s free response section, students cited support for the eModule’s cadaveric images, its ability to consolidate/organize information, and its two modes of use, though users reported a need for a figure legend to orient the user, and a desire for a learning evaluation integrated within the eModule.

Discussion: While gross anatomy has historically been taught through in-person dissection, student demand for digital, remote learning resources is certain to grow. The findings of this mixed methods analysis will serve to guide anatomy faculty in developing effective digital resources for future novice anatomists.

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musculoskeletal anatomy, eModule, online anatomy resource, UME, undergraduate medical student


Curriculum and Instruction | Educational Technology | Medical Education | Musculoskeletal System | Nervous System | Online and Distance Education | Tissues

Effective eModule Design for First-Year Medical Student Anatomy Curricula