Learning Human Anatomy Using Three-Dimensional Models Made from Real-Scale Bone Pieces: Experience with the Knee Joint among Pre-Service Biology Teachers

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Pablo A. Lizana; Cristian Merino; Arlette Bassaber; Ricardo Henríquez; Vega-Fernández, G. & Octavio Binvignat


This study aims to assess the efficiency of using real-scale knee models to learn about the locomotor system. Participants included a total of thirty-nine second year students in a Human Anatomy class of a Biology Teaching course. One week before the intervention, a pre-test was administered to assess the students' prior knowledge. The pre-service biology teachers were provided with a real-scale plaster model of a knee bone and were subsequently required to identify and create their own model of bone, joint and muscle elements. At the end of the intervention, a post-test was performed and opinion survey, in addition to a comparison with other locomotor system structures (four images: knee joint, muscular component of lower limb, shoulder joint and pelvic bone). Students' scores increased significantly in relation to the pre-test, both among the total sample (P=0.000) and between sub-groups divided according to participant gender (male P=0.0021; female P=0.0005) as well as compared to other structures (P<0.05). Furthermore, the pre-service biology teachers showed significant increases in their scores on a Likert-type opinion survey, indicating that these types of interventions promote their motivation for the course (89.2%) as well as their learning (97.8%) and would be advisable for future students (95.5%). The results show that the use of real-scale models and associated work fosters student motivation and enhances the learning of human anatomy.

KEY WORDS: Anatomical science; Education; Gross anatomy; Human body; Pre-service biology teachers.

How to cite this article

LIZANA, P. A.; MERINO, C.; BASSABER, A.; HENRÍQUEZ, R.; VEGA-FERNÁNDEZ, G. & BINVIGNAT, O. Learning human anatomy using three-dimensional models made from real-scale bone pieces: experience with the knee joint among pre-service biology teachers. Int. J. Morphol., 33(4):1299-1306, 2015.