Table Quizzes as an Assessment Tool in the Gross Anatomy Laboratory Article


  • Using cadaveric instruction in a graduate-level anatomy course is an expensive and time-consuming undertaking. While this is a worthwhile endeavor, most first-year medical students and students in the health fields struggle with the independent, self-directed learning approach in the cadaveric laboratory, and going beyond rote memorization of the material. As such, effective assessment tools that maximize student learning in the cadaveric laboratory are critical, especially if no lecture component is present. Dissection quality often reflects student attention to detail and therefore may be tied to overall performance in the course. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between weekly table quizzes and the overall student outcomes in a graduate biomedical human dissection class as well as examining the benefits and implications of this approach. In this course, a uniquely structured weekly quiz assessed dissection quality and probed student understanding in human anatomy. Student data compiled from 5 years of dissection courses were analyzed to evaluate the relationship between performance in the weekly assessment and on the unit examinations. The results showed a statistically significant relationship between the weekly quizzes and the student examinations at the end of each dissection block in 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017. The data suggest a potential correlation between performance on weekly quizzes and on unit examinations. The unique nature of the table quizzes provides the students with the opportunity to practice the retrieval of their knowledge, feel more guided throughout their dissection, and receive immediate feedback on their performance. This assessment tool also provides a way to predict student outcomes and an opportunity for early intervention to help at-risk students. The analysis of this research study contributes to the need for more data on the usage of assessment tools in a graduate human dissection class.


  • Heise, Natascha
  • Meyer, Carolyn A
  • Garbe, Brendan A
  • Hall, Heather A
  • Clapp, Tod R

publication date

  • 2020

start page

  • 238212052094182


  • 7