Several studies have compared student achievement on exams when taught using different methods. The key findings of some studies are listed here.
Use of Multimedia Technology to Provide Solutions to Existing Curriculum
George Mason University, 2001
“…multimedia-based virtual dissection was more effective than hands-on dissection in helping students learn about frog anatomy. Moreover, this result was achieved when the time available for the virtual dissection was approximately 44% less than that available for hands-on dissection.”
“…students spent a significantly larger proportion of time on-task when using the multimedia-based virtual dissection.”
Download the Abstract (PDF)
Cat dissection vs. sculpting human structures in clay
Pennsylvania State University, 2004
“On exams after a cat dissection vs. a human-clay sculpting experience, the students in the human-clay sculpting treatment group scored significantly higher than their classmates in the cat dissection group.”
View the report
Comparison of a computer simulation program and a traditional practical class for teaching the principles of intestinal absorption
Advances in Physiology Education, 1994“… the students who used the computer simulation achieved the same level of knowledge as those working in the laboratory…”
“…the laboratory session was almost five times more expensive in terms of staff time and consumables.”
There are numerous alternative resources for teaching anatomy that continue to be improved upon.