Staff and students discussed the role of design in creating human anatomy learning resources as part of Dundee Design Festival
For over 150 years, Grey’s Anatomy has been the best available resource for medical students looking to learn the inner workings of the human body.
But as digital technology plays an increasingly important role in education, doctors, educationalists and designers at the University of Dundee’s School of Medicine are beginning to look toward new sources – and taking a much closer look under the skin.
Last week, medical student Zoe Kirkham-Mowbry took to the stage at Dundee Design Festival [LINK] to discuss the importance of digital resources to the future of medical education, supported by Natalie Lafferty, Head of the Centre of Technology and Innovation in Learning; Annie Campbell, a medical artist and educational technologist, and Dr Rodney Mountain, an ENT Consultant at Ninewells Hospital and honorary senior lecturer.
She described her experiences creating new learning resources as part of an innovative Student Selected Component (SSC) available in third year: ‘Doctor as Digital Teacher’.
The 4-week module sees learners attend face-to-face teaching sessions and engage in online learning activities, before ultimately developing a resource that can be used in the undergraduate medical curriculum.
“I chose ‘Doctor as Digital Teacher’ mainly because once you enter medical school your options for creativity and art really are very limited,” said Zoe.
“I really wanted to break the norm and create something a bit different that students can use in their studies. I loved the idea of getting involved in design and colour and editing, and applying this to the subjects I was learning.”
Zoe developed a series of engaging, instructional videos detailing the anatomy of the larynx. Take a look at the videos below:
According to Annie Campbell, the advantages of this type of resource are obvious:
“Since the structures in our bodies twist and turn in various directions, it's difficult to portray and understand this on a 2D plane. This is when 3D models really benefit our students in understanding the spatial relationships of our anatomical structures.”
“Moreover, with the development of online websites such as Sketchfab [LINK], we are able to upload these 3D models onto a platform that allows our students to interact with the them in a virtual space and explore the structures in their own time.”
Natalie Lafferty said:
“As most doctors will have some form of teaching or supervising role in their careers, the General Medical Council’s ‘Outcomes for graduates’, stipulate that medical students should begin to develop their skills and understanding of the role of doctor as teacher in the undergraduate curriculum.”
“Our SSC aims to address this, alongside helping our students to develop skills in self-directed learning, digital literacy, project and time management and nurture professionalism.“
“Students involved with our SSCs over the years have shared their videos on YouTube and had thousands of views and been able to include these on their CVs and portfolios when they’ve applied for training posts and been able to demonstrate how they’ve developed their teaching skills.”
Dundee hosted the first Dundee Design Festival between 25-28 May.
With a theme of health and wellbeing (including digital, games, textiles, healthcare, social design and architecture), the ground-breaking event examined the ways in which design affects all aspects of our lives.