Effect of the use of instructional anatomy videos on student performance

Varun Saxena, Pradeep Natarajan, Patricia S. O'Sullivan, Sharad Jain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Medical schools have reduced the time allotted to anatomy instruction. Consequently, schools engage students in more independent settings using information and communication technologies (ICT). There has been limited research in the use of video aids, a type of ICT, to enhance anatomy examination performance. The objective of this study is to describe the design, usage, and effect on examination performance of eight locally developed instructional anatomy videos. First-year UCSF medical students (n 5 141) had access to the videos. They reported their video usage, reason for usage, and satisfaction. The prior year students (n 5 141) served as a historical control group. Anatomy and radiology examination performance was compared between groups while controlling for prior performance. The students with and without access to the videos did not differ in examination performance. Sixty-one (43%) students in the experimental group responded to the survey. Of these, 79% reported using at least one video, viewing an average of 4.75 of the eight videos. They watched 3.27 (SD 5 1.57, range 1-5) of the five anatomy videos and 1.48 (SD 5 1.35; range 0-3) of the three radiology videos. In a regression analysis controlling for age and MCAT scores, using the anatomy videos at least once improved anatomy examination performance by 3.4% (P-value 5 0.007). There was no relationship between radiology video usage and radiology exam score. Video resource availability did not enhance student performance in anatomy and radiology. However, when analyzing performance for those whom we knew level of video use, there was a statistically different and higher anatomy achievement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-165
Number of pages7
JournalAnatomical Sciences Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Anatomy
  • Dissection video
  • Radiology
  • Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology
  • Embryology


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