Is There a Relationship Between Learning Outcomes and Methods of Teaching Anatomy as Perceived by DPT Students?

Purpose/Hypothesis : There has been limited research conducted into the effectiveness of various anatomy teaching methods in the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) curriculum. The purpose of the present study was to determine which teaching methods, from the student perspective, were most useful in achieving anatomy course learning outcomes.Number of Subjects : One hundred twenty eight students from 3 different DPT classesMaterials/Methods : A survey adapted from a published instrument (Kerby et al. Clin Anat. 2011; 24: 489-497) was developed to assess student opinions concerning teaching methods and learning outcomes. Surveys were administered to three consecutive entry-level DPT cohorts at TWU-Dallas. All data were analyzed using SPSS. Descriptive statistics were completed on demographic information. To test for differences across learning objectives by teaching methods, a within-subjects, repeated-measures MANCOVA was conducted, controlling for age, p<.05. To examine the differences in attitudes across cohorts, a MANCOVA was also conducted, p<.05. A within-subjects, repeated-measure MANOVA was conducted to look for differences across statements in which students agreed.Results : Overall results demonstrated that TWU DPT students thought lecture/class discussion and dissection were the best teaching methods to meet anatomy course learning outcomes. Reflective writing was ranked the lowest of all teaching methods. There were differences between the respective cohorts on the effectiveness of other teaching methods. However, not all results were statistically significant. Dissection was rated significantly higher than other teaching methods for helping students develop a 3-D image of the muscular and nervous systems of the human body and demonstrating detailed knowledge of the skeletal system and individual joints of the human body. Lectures and class discussions were rated significantly higher than other teaching methods for aiding students in correlating anatomical features with injuries common to patients seen by physical therapists. There were no other significant differences found between various teaching methods and their ability to help students achieve all other learning objectives.Conclusions : The results of this study confirm that there is a relationship between learning outcomes and methods of teaching anatomy as perceived by DPT students. Overall, lecture/class discussion and dissection by students were ranked as the best teaching methods to meet anatomy course learning objectives while reflective writing was ranked lowest. Interestingly, the significance of learning human anatomy doesnÕt seem to be fully appreciated until DPT students gain hands-on experience during their clinical rotations. Further research needs to be done to correlate student opinions of best teaching methods and objective performance measures. Changes in pedagogy may need to be made to better match teaching methods and student learning outcomes.Clinical Relevance : Methods of teaching anatomy may impact the success of achieving learning outcomes in DPT curriculum.

BACK to Abstract Results

  • Control #: 1711312
  • Type: Poster
  • Event/Year: CSM2014
  • Authors: Larry Petterborg, Kathryn Coggan, Denise Walters, Meagan Pickle, Leslie Jones
  • Keywords: Anatomy Learning Outcomes|Student Opinion|Teaching Methods

BACK to Abstract Results