|The impact of asynchronous online anatomy teaching and smaller learning groups in the anatomy laboratory on medical students' performance during the Covid-19 pandemic
|Covid-19; TBL; Team-based learning; anatomy; cadaveric dissection; gross anatomy education; medical education; students’ perceptions
|Anatomical sciences education
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, National Taiwan University anatomy teachers adopted asynchronous online video teaching and reduced the size of anatomy laboratory groups in April 2020. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of these changes on medical students' learning. Before Covid-19, the performance of the 2019-2020 cohort was significantly better than that of the 2018-2019 cohort. However, the implementation of modified teaching strategies significantly lowered the laboratory midterm score of the 2019-2020 cohort in the second semester. Conversely, the final laboratory examination score of the 2019-2020 cohort was significantly higher than that of the 2018-2019 cohort. Through correlation analysis, lecture and laboratory examination scores were highly correlated. Additionally, the difference in lecture and laboratory z-scores between two cohorts, the Likert scale survey and free-text feedback of the 2019-2020 cohort, were conducted to show the impact of modified teaching strategies. There were several important findings in this study. First, the change in teaching strategies may temporarily negatively influence medical students to learn anatomy. Besides, analyzing the performance of laboratory assessments could be a complementary strategy to evaluate online assessments. Applying lecture examination scores to predict laboratory performance was a feasible way to identify students who may have difficulty in learning practical dissection. Finally, reducing group size together with reduced peer discussion may have a negative effect on learning cadaver dissection for students with low academic performance. These findings should be taken into consideration when anatomy teachers apply new teaching strategies in anatomy courses.
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