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The future ORDER: a student partner approach forevidence-based evaluation and implementation of an ‘observe–reflect–draw–edit–repeat’ artistic learning process in anatomyeducation

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Iain KeenanORCiD


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Since the illustrations of Leonardo da Vinci, artistic portrayals ofhuman anatomy have been used in education. Modern studentsof anatomy take a variety of approaches to learning includingvisualisation. Visual artistic techniques can improve learning,but few studies have investigated drawing in anatomyeducation. While drawing can fulfil components of experientiallearning, it has been proposed that ‘critical looking’ andreflection can enhance the learning of medical students. Wehypothesise that incorporating drawing into anatomy teachingsessions using our novel cyclical learning process of ‘observe–reflect–draw–edit–repeat’ (ORDER) will improve acquisition andretention of anatomical knowledge. We aim to investigate iflearning is significantly enhanced by ORDER when compared tocurrent methods of anatomy education. Pilot data indicate thatORDER can increase knowledge and that students find theprocess valuable.Undergraduate student partners (USPs) from medical and artisticdisciplines will be closely involved in the research. The success ofthis approach will be determined from USP outputs andfeedback. USP Mark Backhouse has designed teaching sessionsfor evaluation of ORDER during a vacation scholarship andformed a USP reference group with USP Ayat Bashir, whiledeveloping their knowledge and transferable skills. Future USPswill conduct evaluation studies and analyse data.A mixed-method approach will generate quantitative andqualitative data to evaluate effects of ORDER on learning andexperience of taught students of anatomy (TSAs), initially acohort of first year medical students (n = 250). A cross-overrandomised controlled trial utilising pre-testing, and immediateand delayed post-testing with multiple choice questions ofassessment standard will generate evidence of TSA learningduring practical anatomy sessions. Data will be analysed forstatistical significance by paired t-test or Mann–Whitney U-testdepending on distribution. TSA perceptions of ORDER will besought using written feedback questionnaires. Evaluationsessions will be facilitated by anatomy staff and professionalartist Rachael Allen. Art USP demonstrators will foster crossdisciplinepeer-peer learning.If shown to significantly improve learning, ORDER will beintroduced into anatomy sessions in the medical curriculum atNewcastle. The value of successful medical education researchapproaches utilising student partners, randomised controlledtrials and artistic methods will be advocated throughdissemination.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Keenan ID, Backhouse M, Bashir A, Allen R

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Anatomical Society Winter Meeting 2013: Assessment Within Medical Education & Sense Organs

Year of Conference: 2014

Pages: 744-744

ISSN: 1469-7580

Publisher: Journal of Anatomy


DOI: 10.1111/joa.12175

Series Title: Journal of Anatomy