Student Perceptions of Remote Versus On-Campus Gross Anatomy Laboratories During COVID-19

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Anatomical Sciences Education


At Kansas City University, anatomy laboratories were delivered via remote (REM) or on-campus (OC) formats due to COVID-19, creating an opportunity to evaluate student perceptions of differences in laboratory delivery format. A six-item survey of Likert scale and open-ended questions explored the utility of anatomy software, prelab instruction handouts, and prosection reviews. Likert scale validity was analyzed using Cronbach's α; responses were compared among REM and OC formats using Chi-square. Descriptive codes were applied to summarize responses, which were grouped and converted into percentages. Statistically significant differences in REM versus OC formats were determined for the helpfulness of the prelab handouts (χ2, 28.00; df, 4; p < 0.001) and effectiveness of cadavers in learning anatomy (χ2, 20.58; df, 4; p < 0.0004). Trends in responses noted disagreement in the effectiveness of anatomy software (REM, 69.8%; OC, 51.08%), but agreement with the helpfulness of prosection reviews (REM, 85.9%; OC, 61.6%) (Cronbach α: REM, 0.648; OC, 0.646). Themes from narrative REM comments (n = 496) noted anatomy software was difficult to use (33.1%) and had issues with orientation (15.5%), as well as a student preference for OC laboratories (12.5%). The OC format responses (n = 456) noted poor software design (47.9%), unnecessary for studying (35.4%), and preference for in-person laboratories (7.4%). Qualitative analysis of narrative comments detailed other resources used, including Complete Anatomy™ and YouTube™. Trends highlighted the prelab handouts and prosection reviews for learning, the ineffectiveness of anatomy software, and a preference for OC laboratories. We highlight student perspectives of REM versus OC laboratory formats in response to COVID-19.



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COVID-19, gross anatomy, laboratory sessions, on-campus, remote