How useful is plastination in learning anatomy?
In recent years plastination has begun to revolutionize the way in which human and veterinary gross anatomy can be presented to students. The study reported here assessed the efficacy of plastinated organs as teaching resources in an innovative anatomy teaching/learning system. The main objective was to evaluate whether the use of plastinated organs improves the quality of teaching and learning of anatomy. For this purpose, we used an interdepartmental approach involving the departments of Veterinary Anatomy, Human Anatomy, Veterinary Surgery, and Education Development and Research Methods. The knowledge base of control and experimental student groups was examined before and after use of the fixed or plastinated resources, respectively, to gather information evaluating the effectiveness of these teaching resources. Significant differences (p < 0.001) between control and experimental groups of Human and Veterinary Anatomy were observed in the post-test results. The Veterinary Surgery students had the most positive opinion of the use of plastinated specimens. Using these data, we were able to quantitatively characterize the use of plastinated specimens as anatomy teaching resources. This analysis showed that all the plastinated resources available were heavily used and deemed useful by students. Although the properties of plastinated specimens accommodate student needs at various levels, traditional material should be used in conjunction with plastinated resources.
Rafael Latorre, Mari Garcia-Sanz, Matilde Moreno, Fuensanta Hernandez, Fransisco Gil, Octavio Lopez, Maria Ayala, Gregorio Ramirez, Jose Vaquez, Alberto Arencibia, and Robert W. Henry. "How useful is plastination in learning anatomy?" Journal of Veterinary Medical Education 34.2 (2007): 172-176.
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