Evaluation of a Three-Dimensional Educational Computer Model of the Larynx: Voicing a New Direction

Hu, Amanda; Wilson, Tim; Ladak, Hanif; Haase, Peter; Doyle, Philip; Fung, Kevin
June 2010
Journal of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery;Jun2010, Vol. 39 Issue 3, p315
Academic Journal
Objective: To evaluate a novel method of teaching laryngeal anatomy. Design: Prospective, randomized, controlled trial. Setting: University educational program. Methods: Computer model development: A three-dimensional (3D) educational computer model of the larynx was created from high-resolution computed tomography and magnetic resonance images of cadaveric necks using segmentation software (Amira) (Visage Imaging, Inc., Carlsbad, CA). E-learning authoring software (Articulate, Articulate Global, Inc, New York, NY) then was used to make the model interactive and multimedia. The model was launched on a Web-based platform. Model evaluation: One hundred students (age 23.8 ± 2.2 years; 55% male) were randomized to either the 3D computer model group (3D group) (n = 50) or the standard written instruction group (SWI group) (n = 50). Main Outcome Measures: The primary outcome measure was the score on a 20-question laryngeal anatomy test; the secondary outcome measure was a student opinion questionnaire. Results: The mean score on the laryngeal anatomy test was 14.2 ± 2.8 (72.0 ± 15.1%). The mean score for the 3D group was 13.6 ± 3.0 (67.0 ± 16.1%) versus 14.8 ± 2.5 (76.0 ± 12.7%) for the SWI group (t = 2.194, df = 98, p < .031). A majority of students felt that the 3D model was effective, clear, user-friendly, and a preferred supplement to traditional methods of instruction. The 3D group rated the computer model more enjoyable than the SWI group. Conclusions: A 3D educational computer model of the larynx was not shown to be superior to written lecture notes in its efficacy in teaching anatomy; however, it was judged to be a preferred and valuable supplement to traditional teaching methods.


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