Using Google Body to teach undergraduate anatomy

Walter van den Broek
October 5, 2011

Google Body is a novel open education resources interface
(). It is simple to operate and its intuitive user interface allows even inexperienced computer users to make good use of it.

The med students first had classical lectures on anatomy. Next they were presented simulations of complex anatomical structures. They had to search and identify these structures in Google Body. Next they began a 5-month period of work with cadavers.

Med students found they had a better understanding of anatomy after the use of Google Body but this positive response was not replicated when comparing the use of Google Body with working with cadavers.

Students expressed the opinion that muscles and inner organs are best presented in cadavers, especially
as cadavers allow for the removal of individual structures and observation of the relationships among the various anatomic structures (noted as the second most important aspect in students’ opinions).

Overall, Google Body can’t substitute for practical experience, it can enhance anatomy learning in an earlier phase.

As Google Labs winds down, we will be retiring Google Body. However, you will soon be able to find its functionality elsewhere. We are working on open-sourcing the code that powers Google Body so that anyone will be able to create and run a searchable 3D viewer. We are also working with our partner, Zygote Media Group, on an application called Zygote Body. This application will be free, available on the web and on Android, and will enable students, teachers, and others using Google Body to continue to have access to a human anatomy browser.

ResearchBlogging.org
Kelc, R., & Dinevski, D. (2011). Using Google Body® to teach undergraduate anatomy Medical Education DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2923.2011.04132.x

 

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