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Can the Haptico-Visual Observation and Drawing Method Enhance the Learning of Anatomy?


Sound anatomical knowledge is essential for medical education and practice. Students and teachers alike believe that visual and spatial reasoning skills are key to learning anatomy. Many innovative teaching strategies promote deep understanding of anatomy by targeting spatial, visualization, and observation skills. Among these is the Haptico-visual observation and drawing method, a method designed to enhance the understanding of the 3-dimensional anatomical form.

Thirteen MSc of Human Anatomy students participated in a Haptico-visual observation and drawing method workshop in which they observed a humerus and reflected on its various features while simultaneously drawing its surface features. Following the workshop, students completed reflective essay and feedback questionnaires.

Thematic analysis of the reflective essay questionnaire indicated knowledge gains achieved by deeper understanding of the observed structure. Students were able to conceptualize the multisensory input into a 3-dimensional mental image and were able to understand anatomical relationships through observation. Possible factors for learning were the complementary use of sight and touch for assisted learning by drawing. Although this method was positively perceived by students, they raised concerns of time constraints and limited applicability in typical anatomy teaching.

The Haptico-visual observation and drawing method can aid students’ learning of anatomy by engaging them with multisensory observation and drawing, however, further quantitative studies are required to establish more solid evidence on its educational impact.
Keywords: Haptico-visual observation, drawing, anatomy education, 3D understanding


(2023). Can the Haptico-Visual Observation and Drawing Method Enhance the Learning of Anatomy?. The Journal of Academic Development and Education,

Acceptance Date Apr 1, 2023
Publication Date May 1, 2023
Journal Journal of Academic Development and Education Anatomical Sciences Special Edition
Print ISSN 2051-3593
Publisher URL

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