BACKGROUND: The impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has profoundly affected education, with most universities changing face-to-face classes to online formats . To adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic situation, we adopted a blended learning approach to anatomy instruction that included online lectures, pre-recorded laboratory dissection videos, and 3D anatomy applications, with condensed offline cadaver dissection .
METHODS: We aimed to examine the learning outcomes of a newly adopted anatomy educational approach by 1) comparing academic achievement between the blended learning group (the 2020 class , 108 students) and the traditional classroom learning group (the 2019 class , 104 students), and 2) an online questionnaire survey on student preference on the learning method and reasons of preference .
RESULTS: The average anatomy examination scores of the 2020 class, who took online lectures and blended dissection laboratories, were significantly higher than those of the 2019 class, who participated in an offline lecture and dissection laboratories . The questionnaire survey revealed that students preferred online lectures over traditional large group lecture-based teaching because it allowed them to acquire increased self-study time, study according to their individual learning styles, and repeatedly review lecture videos .
CONCLUSION: This study suggests that a blended learning approach is an effective method for anatomy learning, and the advantage may result from increased self-directed study through online learning.