Student perceptions of sectional CT/MRI use in teaching veterinary anatomy and the correlation with visual spatial ability: a student survey and mental rotations test

Peter Delisser, Darren Carwardine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
243 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Diagnostic imaging technology is becoming more advanced and widely available to veterinary patients with the growing popularity of veterinary-specific computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Veterinary students must, therefore, be familiar with these technologies and understand the importance of sound anatomic knowledge for interpretation of the resultant images. Anatomy teaching relies heavily on visual perception of structures and their function. In addition, visual spatial ability (VSA) positively correlates with anatomy test scores. We sought to assess the impact of including more diagnostic imaging, particularly CT/MRI, in the teaching of veterinary anatomy on the students' perceived level of usefulness and ease of understanding content. Finally, we investigated survey answers' relationship to the students' inherent baseline VSA, measured by a standard Mental Rotations Test. Students viewed diagnostic imaging as a useful inclusion that provided clear links to clinical relevance, thus improving the students' perceived benefits in its use. Use of CT and MRI images was not viewed as more beneficial, more relevant, or more useful than the use of radiographs. Furthermore, students felt that the usefulness of CT/MRI inclusion was mitigated by the lack of prior formal instruction on the basics of CT/MRI image generation and interpretation. To be of significantly greater use, addition of learning resources labeling relevant anatomy in tomographical images would improve utility of this novel teaching resource. The present study failed to find any correlation between student perceptions of diagnostic imaging in anatomy teaching and their VSA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-329
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Veterinary Medical Education
Volume45
Issue number3
Early online date29 Nov 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018

Keywords

  • Anatomy
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Learning technologies
  • Student survey
  • Visual spatial ability

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