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Perceived value of online video demonstrations as an adjunct to learning surface anatomy for physiotherapy students

Daniel O'Brien, Jill Caldwell, Elizabeth Culav, Heather Clark


An in-depth understanding of the surface anatomy of the body is essential for the development of health science students’ safe practice (Ahmed et al., 2010). A conceptual understanding of surface anatomy is more than just rote learning of content; it requires students to be able to visualise anatomical structures, such as bony landmarks, muscles, nerves and blood vessels, in three dimensions. With the explosion of online resources, the way in which students can now access information to supplement their learning has changed considerably. Therefore, it is appropriate that the way we teach reflects this trend. However, research has indicated that the teaching of anatomy has not necessarily kept pace with these changes (Raftery, 2007). The availability of online resources has been shown to increase student access to a variety of content and learning platforms, allowing students to engage in learning at a time and pace that suits their needs (Kiviniemi, 2014). Additionally, these platforms allow students to repeatedly access the content. The inclusion of video demonstrations provides students with both visual and auditory learning opportunities that complement more traditional textbook learning. 


surface anatomy; online; video; education

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Ahmed, K., Rowland, S., Patel, V., Khan, R. S., Ashrafian, H., Davies, D. C., . . . Paraskeva, P. A. (2010). Is the structure of anatomy curriculum adequate for safe medical practice? The Surgeon, 8(6), 318–324.

Kiviniemi, M. (2014). Effects of a blended learning approach on student outcomes in a graduate-level public health course. BMC Medical Education, 14, 47–51.

Raftery, A. (2006). Anatomy teaching in the UK. Surgery (Oxford), 25 (1), 1–2. doi:10.1016/j.mpsur.2006.11.002



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