Learning outcomes: a tool for informing the design of computerized anatomy educational tools

Victor Okon Nyamse, Caroline Parker, Vassilis Charissis, David Moore, J. Murray

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Learning outcomes (LO) have become relevant to educational policies and are vital to the design and development of educational content. They could be seen as what students should know at the end of their learning activities. They are therefore needed in designing computerized content for anatomy education. An initial review of literature related to the development of Computerized Anatomy Educational Tools (CAET) provided little evidence to show that these outcomes were used to inform their design.
    Designers of interactive computer systems have, for two decades, relied on User Centered Design (UCD) methodology in creating effective and efficient systems. UCD primarily involves placing the user and their task at the center of the design process. This is in line with the current student-centered and outcome-based approach in education policy. Our analysis of UCD showed that Learning Outcomes could be represented using task analysis method. Task analysis involves the study of what users or learners are required to do in order to achieve a task. It enables the designer understand the information flow in an electronic tool, which is necessary in developing appropriate system features and functions. Thus LO could be used to inform the design of learning tools.
    We applied task analysis in creating a CAET. Learning Outcomes were acquired mainly from two accepted curricula and were broken down into individual tasks that the users needed to accomplish. A flowchart mapping individual functions was developed and used as a guide in making design decisions. This process resulted in a novel interface and interaction design with notable benefits during and after the tool's development. The LO guided the design process and the choice of functions, particularly during the brainstorming phase. This process ensured that the information represented in the CAET was not just transcribed from a non-electronic medium (print), but was designed to suit the new electronic medium and avoid the constraints present in printed materials. We therefore propose that LO could be viewed not only as a means of testing the competencies of learners but also to determine the suitability of the design of various educational tools, especially CAET.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)236
    Number of pages1
    JournalJournal of Anatomy
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

    Keywords

    • learning outcomes
    • regenerative medicine
    • Computerized Anatomy Educational Tools
    • CAET

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