Splendid Learning - Blended Learning in Anatomy -

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


In 2013, the Centre for Biomedical Sciences Education (CBMSE) introduced an MSc in Clinical Anatomy at Queen’s University Belfast. Modern students have 21st century skills, yet anatomy in Queen’s has for many years, still used a 19th century teaching approach. Anatomy lends itself well to online learning as the main subject content is universal, and does not change year-on-year. Along with colleagues from Information Services, staff members from CBMSE developed a series of ‘web apps’; small web pages hosted within the University. This approach to studying anatomy was thought to be attractive to clinical practitioners who were not able to commit full time to the MSc course offered in the University.

The implementation of blended learning in Clinical Anatomy aims to provide working healthcare professionals an opportunity to achieve a PgCert or PgDip in Clinical Anatomy. The course provides students with a greater understanding of advanced human anatomy including appropriate radiological anatomy, microscopic anatomy and embryology.

Students are introduced to the topic through short descriptive texts outlining the aims of each ‘app.’ Instructional narrated demonstration videos orientate the student with gross, functional and applied anatomy. A self-directed learning section summarises the main learning outcomes of the topic area, as well as suggesting further areas for study and investigation, such as recent scientific journal articles.

Blended Learning is a relatively new concept within CBMSE. While there is a significant initial investment of staff time to develop and create content, it is a very time efficient model. Nonetheless, it is an extremely useful tool for teaching a highly visual subject, such as anatomy. It seems likely that technologies will become more embedded in the way anatomy is taught at Queens. However, given the many ways and resources in which anatomy is now supported in the University, the integration of ‘digital anatomy’ alongside ‘traditional anatomy’ should be a smooth process.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted - 2017
Event"Anatomists on the Edge": Joint meeting of the Anatomical Society and the American Association of Anatomists - NUI Galway, Galway, Ireland
Duration: 27 Jun 201729 Jun 2017


Conference"Anatomists on the Edge"


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