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The Virtual Dissection Room: Live-streamed Demonstrations to Complement Recorded Lectures

Shaw, Vivien; Winder, Isabelle C.


Isabelle C. Winder


Complying with the constraints on class size created by social distancing meant that in Bangor, it was not possible to have in-person cadaveric teaching this year. This had the biggest impact on the second-year Medical Sciences students, and the first-year Physician Associate students who normally both have weekly dissection room (DR) sessions. Access to our cadaveric teaching resources is highly prized by the students in module evaluations, so it was considered important to continue to give them some access in a way that would be compatible with the restrictions. It was, therefore, decided to create synchronous ‘virtual DR’ sessions that consisted of demonstrations of the structures that they would normally examine for themselves using a mixture of resources; bones, models, skeleton with pipe-cleaners to show vessel and nerve pathways, and live narration over pre-recorded video of demonstrations using the cadaveric specimens. Student feedback on their ‘virtual DR’ sessions was good. The physician associated students who all had some existing anatomy knowledge that they were refining for their upcoming clinical roles rated the cadaveric learning most highly, followed by the skeleton, and then the bones and models. Students who had previous experience of working in the DR in person commented that this was not as good as being able to handle things in person, but still valuable. The second-year Medical Sciences students who were learning anatomy for the first time rated the bones and models most highly, followed by the cadaveric demonstration, and then the skeleton. This type of distance learning does not replace the experience that students get through examining specimens directly. The process of using a combination of atlases and discussion within their groups to figure out what is where, and how it relates to the structures around it is an active learning process that requires personal interaction. However, in the absence of the possibility to attend in person, the ‘virtual DR’ sessions have a place in complementing and expanding on recorded lectures as interactive synchronous teaching using 3D objects. All use of the cadaveric teaching collection was done in accordance with the HTA 2004. All student feedback was voluntary and anonymous, collected through the normal module evaluation process.


Shaw, V., & Winder, I. C. (2021, January). The Virtual Dissection Room: Live-streamed Demonstrations to Complement Recorded Lectures. Presented at Anatomical Society Virtual Winter Meeting: Vision and Visualisation, Newcastle

Presentation Conference Type Lecture
Conference Name Anatomical Society Virtual Winter Meeting: Vision and Visualisation
Conference Location Newcastle
Start Date Jan 6, 2021
End Date Jan 8, 2021
Publication Date Jan 6, 2021
Deposit Date Oct 22, 2021
Public URL
Additional Information Published as Abstract O9 in Journal of Anatomy, Volume 239, Issue 4, October 2021, Pages 932-971.