Technology and the use of models for applied anatomy and physiology.


When did you first introduce the innovation?

More than 24 months ago

Please describe the innovation you have developed

Focus has been driven on developing foot skeletons which can be pulled apart and put back together again. This was developed through CT scans and the printing of the bones using a 3D printer. Further innovation has come through other practical activities of boards to create anatomical and physiology principles – creating a ‘hands-on’ approach to learning (constructivism). Students also film their learning process and provide commentary. This learning process is also sorted by technology with funding received for iPads (for the use of apps), interactive white boards and the creation of a small anatomy and physiology laboratory.

What prompted you to develop this innovation?

Students always find anatomy and physiology and there was a desire from the teaching team to change the approach to the delivery of the content; in terms of making it more applied and interactive to increase the student experience. Many students learn better from ‘doing’ rather than from didactic learning which occurs through lectures. The teaching team, which has seen staff changes are driven to enhancing the learning process of complex topics, ensuring that understanding at all levels of the programme are maximised for all students at each level of the programme.

In your view, what is it about this innovation that makes it different/important?

The innovation is a mixed approach where we are combining the use of technology and going back to basics with simple developed diagrams (2D/3D) that employs playdoh, a foot skeleton, and blocked tubing (for example) to simulate the influence of occluded arteries. The process enables formative assessment throughout the models, and the student’s efforts to be recorded electronically.

To what extent does your innovation make use of existing approaches, resources or technologies?

As stated above, our approaches is a mixture of old and new; the newer aspects integrated are based on technologies and being innovative with simple, usable products that the students can replicate as a revision tool (should they wish to do so) when away from the university.

To what degree has this innovation led to changes in education or clinical practice?

The approach to teaching anatomy and physiology is enabling improved student experience (and whilst in some part) these changes are in it’s infancy – it is clear that the level 5 students who have entered their Clinical Practice 2 (POY5005) module are well prepared and are becoming critical and reflective thinkers who are able to deal with complex issues and apply the related theory-to-clinical-practice.

What evidence do you have of the impact of the innovation?

A selection of level 4 students were interviewed in March 2015 to explore their thoughts on the changing approach and delivery to anatomy and physiology. The response was positive, and students found the sessions beneficial.

This is also entwined with earlier work with the 3D foot model created and use of videos and handbook created by student interns.

To what degree has the innovation been disseminated in your organisation or elsewhere?

Our anatomy and physiology mixed approach method to teaching is still in its infancy; however we aim to present and publish the work once further data and additional sources are integrated.

The 3D foot model however has been presented at the annual national podiatry conference.

Please provide details of any plans you have to disseminate the innovation in the future.

As above – we are still in the early stages, but this information for our innovation will also be disseminated to the Workforce, Education and Development Services (Wales) and Heads of Service (Podiatry – Wales).