In an era, which is witnessing a significant rise in incidence of neurological diseases, there is also a rise in neurophobia; the diminished confidence of clinical practitioners and students to manage patients with neurological conditions. In this context, the perceived nexus between neuroanatomy-phobia (the challenges and fear associated with learning neuroanatomy) and neurophobia, highlighted the need to revisit the neuroanatomy pedagogies and their instructional designs.
E-learning can be effectively employed to enhance students’ learning of neuroanatomy. This perspective describes a conceptual framework for online neuroanatomy learning (eNEUROANAT-CF), which provides a theoretical grounding to newly developed neuroanatomy e-learning resources, by offering a set of instructional design principles. The framework is rooted into the theories of adult learning, cognitive load and Mayer’s theory of multimedia learning. eNEUROANAT-CF was validated by imparting user opinion regarding the best perceived instructional design features for learning neuroanatomy. Furthermore, it was effectively employed to inform the pedagogical construct of an e-tool to help students learning the spinal pathways.
The perspective highlights the theoretical underpinnings of the eNEUROANAT-CF under seven categories, including ‘avoidance of cognitive overload’, ‘learning style preferences’, ‘contextualization’, ‘motivation’, ‘social learning’, ‘feedback/reflection’, and ‘active-learning’. In addition, elaborative examples are provided, which explain how eNEUROANAT-CF informed the instructional design features of the above-mentioned e-tool.
The authors propose that any novel, interactive neuroanatomy e-learning resource rooted in the instructional design principles outlined by the eNEUROANAT-CF, will improve users learning and understanding of neuroanatomy. The research shows promise to help break the perceived nexus between neuroanatomy-phobia and neurophobia.