Anatomy beyond the pandemic: A Q-methodology study exploring student perceptions toward a hybrid curriculum.

Publication date: Apr 02, 2024

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, anatomy education was forced to adopt online modes of delivery. Previous research on student views revealed areas of strong preference (asynchronous lectures) and strong dislike (virtual specimens) in online anatomy courses. The current study seeks to compare the views of a single cohort of students experiencing both online and in-person undergraduate introductory anatomy and physiology courses. This comparison can highlight what students consider beneficial to their education and can inform future hybrid course offerings. Q-methodology was used to assess the opinions of students. Students sorted 41 statements on anatomy education in a quasi-normally distributed grid based on their degree of agreement with the statements. The rankings underwent a by-person factor analysis which categorized students with shared perceptions into groups. Data were collected from 246 students in the primarily online fall semester and 191 students in the primarily in-person winter semester. Analysis revealed three distinct factors (groups) in the cohort. Factor one (n = 113 (fall), n = 93 (winter)), was satisfied overall with the course materials and delivery. Factor two (n = 52 (fall), n = 18 (winter)) had a deep dislike of online learning, and factor three (n = 37 (fall), n = 49 (winter)) had a strong preference for online learning. While many students were comfortable in both online and in-person learning environments, this was not the case for all learners. The strengths and weaknesses of each teaching modality suggest the opportunity to explore hybrid learning as an option for future course offerings and specifically highlight valuable aspects to incorporate from each environment.

Concepts Keywords
Covid anatomy education
Pandemic curriculum
Physiology E‐learning
Semester education
Teaching educational methodology


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19 pandemic

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