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Education Research International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 8506251, 10 pages
Research Article

Digital Cadavers: Online 2D Learning Resources Enhance Student Learning in Practical Head and Neck Anatomy within Dental Programs

1School of Dentistry and Oral Health, Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD 4222, Australia
2School of Medical Science, Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD 4222, Australia

Received 19 April 2016; Accepted 26 May 2016

Academic Editor: Gwo-Jen Hwang

Copyright © 2016 Mahmoud M. Bakr et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Head and neck anatomy provides core concepts within preclinical dental curricula. Increased student numbers, reduced curricula time, and restricted access to laboratory-based human resources have increased technology enhanced learning approaches to support student learning. Potential advantages include cost-effectiveness, off-campus access, and self-directed review or mastery opportunities for students. This study investigated successful student learning within a first-year head and neck anatomy course at the School of Dentistry and Oral Health, Griffith University, Australia, taught by the same teaching team, between 2010 and 2015. Student learning success was compared, for cohorts before and after implementation of a supplementary, purpose-designed online digital library and quiz bank. Success of these online resources was confirmed using overall students’ performance within the course assessment tasks and Student Evaluation of Course surveys and online access data. Engagement with these supplementary 2D online resources, targeted at improving laboratory study, was positively evaluated by students (mean 85%) and significantly increased their laboratory grades (mean difference 6%, ), despite being assessed using cadaveric resources. Written assessments in final exams were not significantly improved. Expanded use of supplementary online resources is planned to support student learning and success in head and neck anatomy, given the success of this intervention.