Online Learning Modules in Anatomical Sciences: Effective Sources for Continued Learning for Medical Undergraduates During the Unprecedent COVID-19 Pandemic
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Anatomy Learning
Medical Education
Online Resources
Structured Courses
Youtube Channels

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Viveka, S., Pushpa, N. B., & Ravi, K. S. (2021). Online Learning Modules in Anatomical Sciences: Effective Sources for Continued Learning for Medical Undergraduates During the Unprecedent COVID-19 Pandemic. Galician Medical Journal, 28(3), E202136.


Introduction. During the COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdown, the selection of simple and authentic online material among plethora of web content is difficult for both students and teachers. This forces students and teachers to explore various avenues of learning.

The objective of this research was to evaluate free open-access anatomy e-learning resources in accordance with required standard learning outcomes for medical students.

Methods. During February 2021, an extensive search for online modules for learning anatomy across six Massive Open Online Courses, including edX, Coursera, Udemy, Khan Academy, Canvas and FutureLearn, along with Google and YouTube was conducted. Courses or modules on e-learning platforms, YouTube channels, standalone videos, anatomy atlases, 3D models were considered as learning resources and evaluated. Online materials were classified as structured learning resources if they had a defined syllabus, time duration and instructional design. Resources lacking these characteristics were considered as unstructured ones.

Results. Twenty structured learning courses were identified on the Udemy (6 courses), Coursera (3 courses), edX (2 courses), FutureLearn and Khan academy platforms. Learning resources available through Swayam Prabha were aligned with the defined syllabus and video lectures. The content hosted within Clinical Anatomy, Medvizz and Kenhub was eye-catching. Thirty-two YouTube channels offering standalone learning material were identified. Seven resource materials, other than YouTube channels, offered anatomy learning material in the form of charts and tables. Four websites noted to have 3D interactive learning content regarding gross anatomy.

Conclusions. During the pandemic-induced lockdown, the list presented in the study may act as guide in selection of the simplest and best materials for those teaching and learning anatomy in medical undergraduate courses. However, in most cases, there is no alignment with standard learning outcomes as defined by medical education regulatory authorities.
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