Student laboratory presentations as a learning tool in anatomy education

Madeleine B. Chollet, Mark F. Teaford, Evan M. Garofalo, Valerie B. DeLeon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous studies have shown that anatomy students who complete oral laboratory presentations believe they understand the material better and retain it longer than they otherwise would if they only took examinations on the material; however, we have found no studies that empirically test such outcomes. The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of oral presentations through comparisons with other methods of assessment, most notably, examination performance. Specifically, we tested whether students (n 5 256) performed better on examination questions on topics covered by their oral presentations than on other topics. Each student completed two graded, 12-minute laboratory presentations on two different assigned topics during the course and took three examinations, each of which covered a third of the course material. Examination questions were characterized by type (memorization, pathway, analytical, spatial). A two-way repeated measures analysis of variance revealed that students performed better on topics covered by their presentations than on topics not covered by their presentations (P < 0.005), regardless of presentation grade (P > 0.05) and question type (P > 0.05). These results demonstrate empirically that oral presentations are an effective learning tool.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-264
Number of pages5
JournalAnatomical Sciences Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009


  • Assessment
  • Gross anatomy
  • Laboratory dissection
  • Medical education
  • Oral presentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology
  • Embryology


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