Type of Article:  Original Research

Volume 6; Issue 2.1 (April 2018)

Page No.: 5134-5144

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.16965/ijar.2018.140


Hayley Green *1, Manisha R Dayal 1.

*1 School of Science and Health, Western Sydney University, NSW, Australia.

Corresponding Author: Hayley Green, Western Sydney University, School of Science and Health, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith 2751 NSW Australia. Phone: +612 4620 3697   Fax: +612 4620 3025 E-Mail: H.Green@westernsydney.edu.au ORCID: 0000-0001-7765-9450


Background: The use of body painting as a method of engaging students in the learning of anatomy has been demonstrated as being beneficial to knowledge retention amongst medical students. However, the benefit of the use of body painting as an educational tool for non-medical students learning anatomy is relatively understudied.

Aims:  This research aimed to assess the perceptions of first year non-medical tertiary students on the use of body painting as an engaging and useful tool for learning human anatomy. A secondary aim was to determine if students’ assessment of the activity differed between those enrolled in a generalised Medical Science degree compared to those in a Clinical Health Science degree with a specific career path.

Materials and Methods: A total of two hundred first-year students divided between a Medical Science degree (n=101) and the Clinical Health Sciences (n = 99) were surveyed using a combination of Likert scale and open-ended responses to determine if students thought body painting had a place in anatomy teaching.

Results: Quantitative results found no significant difference in the reported level of enjoyment experienced during body painting activities, with students finding the activity reasonably enjoyable (3.6-3.8/5), however Clinical Health Science students found the activity most useful as a learning tool (3.9/5; p ≤ 0.01). Thematic inductive analysis revealed that students from both cohorts found the activity fun and interactive and that it promoted engagement and information retention. Students also recognised the benefit of the activity for visual and kinaesthetic learners. Clinical Health science students were the only cohort to report on how body painting helped linked to their future in clinical practice.

Conclusions: Student feedback supports the use of body painting as a learning tool in human anatomy in non-medical degree programs, and contributes to the development of a stronger undergraduate anatomy teaching program.

Key words: body painting, anatomy, Health Science, undergraduate teaching, deep learning.


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Cite this article: Hayley Green, Manisha R Dayal. A QUALITATIVE ASSESSMENT OF STUDENT ATTITUDES TO THE USE OF BODY PAINTING AS A LEARNING TOOL IN FIRST YEAR HUMAN ANATOMY: A PILOT STUDY. Int J Anat Res 2018;6(2.1):5134-5144. DOI: 10.16965/ijar.2018.140