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Deep dissection: Motivating students beyond Rote Learning in veterinary anatomy

Cake, M.A. (2006) Deep dissection: Motivating students beyond Rote Learning in veterinary anatomy. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 33 (2). pp. 266-271.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3138/jvme.33.2.266
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Abstract

The profusion of descriptive, factual information in veterinary anatomy inevitably creates pressure on students to employ surface learning approaches and “rote learning.” This phenomenon may contribute to negative perceptions of the relevance of anatomy as a discipline. Thus, encouraging deep learning outcomes will not only lead to greater satisfaction for both instructors and learners but may have the added effect of raising the profile of and respect for the discipline. Consideration of the literature reveals the broad scope of interventions required to motivate students to go beyond rote learning. While many of these are common to all disciplines (e.g., promoting active learning, making higher-order goals explicit, reducing content in favor of concepts, aligning assessment with outcomes), other factors are peculiar to anatomy, such as the benefits of incorporating clinical tidbits, “living anatomy,” the anatomy museum, and dissection classes into a “learning context” that fosters deep approaches. Surprisingly, the 10 interventions discussed focus more on factors contributing to student perceptions of the course than on drastic changes to the anatomy course itself. This is because many traditional anatomy practices, such as dissection and museum-based classes, are eminently compatible with active, student-centered learning strategies and the adoption of deep learning approaches by veterinary students. Thus the key to encouraging, for example, dissection for deep learning (“deep dissection”) lies more in student motivation, personal engagement, curriculum structure, and “learning context” than in the nature of the learning activity itself.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges
Copyright: 2006 AAVMC
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/12031
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