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Mandatory Fields
Balta, Joy Y.; Supple, Briony; O'Keeffe, Gerard W.
Anatomical Sciences Education
The Universal Design for Learning Framework in Anatomical Sciences Education
Optional Fields
Over the past decades, teaching and learning within the discipline of anatomy has undergone significant changes. Some of these changes are due to a reduction in the number of teaching hours, while others are related to advancements in technology. Faced with these many choices for change, it can be difficult for faculty to decide on which new developments in anatomical education need or indeed can be integrated into their course to enhance student learning. This article presents the universal design for learning (UDL) framework—an informed, evidence‐based, and robust approach to underpin new course design and pedagogical reform in anatomy education. Universal design for learning is not a theory but a framework grounded in cognitive neuroscience that focuses on engaging multiple brain networks. The guidelines for UDL are organized into three core principles: (1) provide multiple means of representation, (2) provide multiple means of action and expression, and (3) provide multiple means of engagement. The learning space within the anatomy laboratory provides an excellent opportunity in which to apply this framework. This article also describes current trends employed in the teaching of anatomy. The principles of UDL are then outlined, followed by a description of how UDL approaches have been applied in the design and delivery of anatomy practical teaching to first year medical students at University College Cork. Future implications for this work are a consideration and investigation of how a course designed with the principles of UDL at its heart ultimately benefits student learning.
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