University of Cape Town
Reid_et_al-2018-Anatomical_Sciences_Education.pdf (334.04 kB)

How Haptics and Drawing Enhance the Learning of Anatomy. In Anatomical Sciences Education (ASE).

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Version 2 2020-08-20, 07:08
Version 1 2020-08-18, 09:28
journal contribution
posted on 2020-08-20, 07:08 authored by Steve Reid, Leonard ShapiroLeonard Shapiro, Graham Louw
Students’ engagement with two‐dimensional (2D) representations as opposed to three‐dimensional (3D) representations of anatomy such as in dissection, is significant in terms of the depth of their comprehension.This qualitative study aimed to understand how students
learned anatomy using observational and drawing activities that included touch, called haptics. Five volunteer second year medical students at the University of Cape Town participated in a six‐day educational intervention in which a novel “haptico‐visual observation and drawing” (HVOD) method was employed. Data were collected through individual interviews as well as a focus group discussion. The HVOD method was successfully applied by all the participants, who reported an improvement of their cognitive understanding and memorization of the 3D form of the anatomical part. All the five participants described the development of a “mental picture” of the object as being central to “deep learning.” The use of the haptic senses coupled with the simultaneous act of drawing enrolled sources of information that were reported by the participants to have enabled better memorization. We postulate that the more sources of information about an object, the greater degree of complexity could be appreciated, and therefore the more clearly it could be captured and memorized. The inclusion of haptics has implications for cadaveric dissection versus non‐cadaveric forms of learning.



Department of Human Biology, Division of Clinical Anatomy and Biological Anthropology