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Annals of Anatomy - Anatomischer Anzeiger ; : 152043, 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-2164919


Background The COVID-19 pandemic caused major shifts in students' learning strategies as well as teaching environments that profoundly affected the delivery of anatomy courses in medical schools. The Department of Anatomy at the University of Zagreb School of Medicine had a unique experience where the anatomy course in 2019/2020 was first taught in-person before transferring to an online course delivery, while the inverse happened in 2020/2021. The core curriculum, course material and examination criteria were the same in both academic years. The aim of the study was to determine whether course delivery affected students' perceptions of the course and whether it impacted students' engagement and success. Methods The students' perceptions of the course were assessed via an anonymous course survey (student evaluation of teaching, SET). The questions in the SET assessed the usefulness of teaching modalities rather than students' satisfaction. Most questions were in the form of statements to which students responded with their level of agreement on a five-point Likert scale. Differences between responses in 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 were analyzed using the Mann-Whitney test. Effect size was estimated using Cliff's delta and association between responses was assessed using Spearman's r coefficient. Results Students' perceptions were significantly affected by changes in course delivery. Students' success and engagement were higher in 2019/2020 when in-person teaching preceded online teaching. Furthermore, students' views on course organization and the usefulness of continuous assessment were more positive in 2019/2020. Finally, students' perceptions of the usefulness of online materials and activities were more positive in 2019/2020. All comparisons between the two academic years were statistically significant (P ≤ 0.0001 for all comparisons, Mann-Whitney test). Conclusions Students' perceptions of the anatomy course were dependent on the teaching environment they were exposed to at the beginning of the course. A transfer from in-person to online course delivery was more successful than vice-versa. This has important implications for structuring hybrid courses in medical education in the future.

Croatian Medical Journal ; 62(2):173-186, 2021.
Article in English | PMC | ID: covidwho-1389133


Aim To compare the efficacy of different components of online and contact anatomy classes as perceived by medical students. Methods An anonymous course evaluation survey was conducted at the end of the academic year 2019/2020. The organization of classes due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic provided our students with a unique opportunity to compare online and contact classes. Students' responses were analyzed according to the type of obtained data (ratio, ordinal, and categorical). Results The response rate was 95.58%. Approximately 90% of students found anatomical dissection and practical work in general to be the most important aspect of teaching, which could not be replaced by online learning. During online classes, students missed the most the interaction with other students, followed by the interaction with student teaching assistants and teaching staff. Very few students found contact lectures useful, with most students reporting that they could be replaced with recorded video lectures. In contrast, recorded video lectures were perceived as extremely helpful for studying. Regular weekly quizzes were essential during online classes as they gave students adequate feedback and guided their learning process. Students greatly benefitted from additional course materials and interactive lessons, which were made easily available via e-learning platform.Conclusions Anatomical dissection and interaction during contact classes remain the most important aspects of teaching anatomy. However, online teaching increases learning efficiency by allowing alternative learning strategies and by substituting certain components of contact classes, thus freeing up more time for practical work.