Drawing in anatomy education: exploring its roles in teaching and assessment

Panagiotopoulos, Dimitrios (2018) Drawing in anatomy education: exploring its roles in teaching and assessment. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis consists of an investigation of the current use of visual representations, and drawing in particular, when teaching and assessing within anatomy education in medical studies.

Although we know a lot about teachers’ use of visual representations and increasingly drawing, especially in the context of science education, less is known about the use of those tools by educators in the anatomical domain. Drawing is not currently systematically being used within assessment in anatomy education in UK medical schools, and its potential in assessment has not been investigated in depth.

Four studies were conducted to answer the research questions set for this thesis. The first study investigated the way in which the teaching staff understand the use of visual representations in teaching, learning and assessment in anatomy. To answer this, observations of seven anatomy demonstrators were conducted within Year 1 dissection sessions, and interviews were conducted with the same demonstrators. The second study employed a real-world experimental design to explore if students’ drawings reveal changes in their understanding after dissection. Drawings from 98 Year 1 medical students were analysed in a within-subject crossover design, where students in the first condition drew the exterior of the heart before dissection in Week 1 and drew the superior mediastinum after dissection in Week 2. The order was reversed for students in the second condition. All drawings were analysed for their content and form with an extensive coding scheme that was developed for this thesis, as the existing coding approaches towards drawings were judged as inappropriate. The third study investigated the use of drawing to reveal changes in understanding as the medical degree progresses. Drawings of the exterior of the heart from 46 Year 3 students were analysed and compared to drawings from the Year 1 students. Finally, the fourth study investigated the way in which anatomy demonstrators understand drawing in the assessment of anatomical knowledge; eight artefact-based interviews were conducted with anatomy demonstrators.

The findings offer important insights into the way in which visual representations and drawing in particular are being used by anatomy demonstrators within anatomy education and their perspectives on the use of drawing in teaching, learning and assessment. A significant contribution is also made to the knowledge regarding the use of drawing to assess understanding in spatially intensive domains, such as the anatomical one. This thesis also contributes to our knowledge of dissection as a method of teaching anatomy and the need for drawing training within this domain. Finally, the scheme for drawing analysis that was developed, evaluated and employed in this thesis can be considered a methodological contribution to the approaches of analysing drawings in the current literature.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Ainsworth, Shaaron
Wigmore, Peter M.C.
Keywords: Human anatomy, Study and teaching, Drawing
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NC Drawing. Design. Illustration
Q Science > QM Human anatomy
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Education
Item ID: 49451
Depositing User: Panagiotopoulos, Dimitrios
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2018 08:59
Last Modified: 08 May 2020 09:01
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/49451

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