Future-Proofing Healthcare Skills Education: Technology-Enhanced Collaborative Learning and Peer Teaching Strategies for Large Student Cohorts in Anatomy Practicals

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Devising alternative strategies to improve practical competencies in anatomy remains a major challenge in medical schools with large student cohorts and lacking cadaveric dissection. An innovative approach successfully combined in-practical group discussion, Guided Collaborative Learning (GCL), and Student Peer Teaching-Demonstration (SPTD), facilitated primarily by clinical tutors. Focused practical tasks designed to support student-centred, small group discussions encourage concurrent practical exploration of anatomy resources. Hands-on peer demonstrations involving anatomy models, plastinated human specimens, radiographic images and correlated clinical skills were broadcast to the cohort in a tutor-moderated, multimedia-integrated anatomy lab. Following Kirkpatrick’s model, GCL/SPTD was evaluated for Reaction (unit evaluation/student feedback); Learning (summative exams) and Behaviour (peer assessment/tutor review). Student feedback, tutor reviews and peer assessment received high positive ratings. Cross-campus unit evaluation scores increased by (+5 to 18%) and summative assessment grades increased by (+7%) distinctly improved following introduction of GCL/SPTD. By shifting the educational positioning of medical students from passive listeners to active problem solvers and lifelong learners, GCL/SPTD translates Aristotle’s philosophy “Teaching is the highest form of understanding” into practice. Ultimately, engaging students in professional collaborations expected in today’s clinical practice strongly supports this future-forward, effective strategy for practical medical and healthcare education training.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCollaborative Active Learning
Subtitle of host publicationPractical Activity-Based Approaches to Learning, Assessment and Feedback
EditorsChan Chang-Tik, Gillian Kidman, Meng Yew Tee
Place of PublicationSingapore Singapore
Number of pages34
ISBN (Electronic)9789811943836
ISBN (Print)9789811943829
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Guided collaborative learning
  • In-practical group discussion
  • Multimedia learning lab
  • Non-dissection anatomy
  • Peer teaching-demonstration

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