Developing a Multimedia Program That Emphasizes Applications of Functional Anatomy1

By Kattesh, H. G.; Sims, M. H. et al. | NACTA Journal, September 2003 | Go to article overview

Developing a Multimedia Program That Emphasizes Applications of Functional Anatomy1


Kattesh, H. G., Sims, M. H., Henry, R. W., Jackson, E. K., et al., NACTA Journal


Abstract

A multimedia compact disk (CD) program was designed and produced for the purpose of enhancing the mastery of anatomical and physiological concepts by undergraduate students in animal science and related agricultural sciences. A problem-oriented approach for the presentation of fundamental principles of functional anatomy in farm animals was used. Students are presented narrated video, text, graphics, and animation that are relative to the anatomy and physiology of the somatic portion of the peripheral nervous system in nine lessons. Mastery level of each of the lessons is assessed by twenty randomly selected multiple-choice questions from a 100-question bank.

Four real-life case studies of neurological abnormalities in the horse and cow are documented. Expert prompts, including history and details pertinent to each case, are provided in video and text format to aid the student in formulating initial observations. Upon successful completion of the lesson material and quiz, the students are expected to enter their own conclusions about the nature of the abnormality. This information, along with student's notes and quiz responses, are stored on a diskette and subsequently reviewed by the instructor. At the end of the program the expert gives a synopsis of the neuromuscular involvement in each case thus allowing the students to assess their own conclusions. This program underscores the practicality of understanding structural and functional relationships of the nervous and skeletal muscle systems that underlie commonly occurring neuromuscular abnormalities in farm animals.

Introduction

The Department of Animal Science at The University of Tennessee has an enrollment of approximately 300 undergraduate students, the majority of whom are required to successfully complete AS 220, a three semester-hour course entitled Anatomy and Physiology of Farm Animals. The course serves as a foundation of fundamental information on the structure and function of the major body systems of animals on which succeeding courses in animal science, wildlife, and veterinary medicine build. Inclusion of a course like AS 220 in curricula of general agricultural sciences, agricultural biology and natural resources is typical for universities worldwide.

Because of the large number of students enrolled in this course (average of 65 students/semester over the past five years), very few students are able to personally interact with instructors. Few students actually see dissections being performed and fail to gain a proper three-dimensional perspective of body parts. Communications with other institutions that offer similar courses indicate that these problems are common. In addition, approximately 66 percent of our Animal Science majors have expressed an interest in continuing their education in veterinary medicine or in post-baccalaureate graduate studies in animal science. A strong foundation course in functional anatomy of domestic animals is paramount in order for these students to master more advanced physiologic concepts taught at the professional or graduate level.

Computer mediated instruction has gained increased attention and popularity in the instruction of students in health related studies (Jensh, 1987; Clayton and Wilson, 1988). Educators in the health care sciences have recognized its potential in training professional students in practically all aspects of health care (Singarella et al., 1988). Multimedia computer programs have been particularly successful in medical applications because they reduce the time required to present lesson content, increase learner retention, reduce study time, and develop mastery of skills in a shorter period of time (Curless and Coover-Stone, 1 987). Some students who have been exposed to these programs actually improve their problem-solving skills (Stevens et al., 1989).

Students in colleges of agriculture that are not required to practice operating at all four levels of cognition (e.

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