Accessanatomy: Making anatomy lessons accessible to all students in higher education

University of Leeds logo_blackHigher education professionals across the globe use TechSmith software to better engage their students online. One great example of this is James Pickering, an associate anatomy professor at the University of Leeds in the U.K., and an out-of-the-box thinker when it comes to teaching his students.

In a typical classroom, it’s easy to imagine James using objects and diagrams to model physical structures to his anatomy students. But, James wanted students to be able to access the information he teaches at any time and even go back and re-watch lessons. So, he began using a Wacom tablet to draw anatomical structures during his lectures, and then used Camtasia to record video of his lessons. After class, James uploads these videos to YouTube or the University’s virtual learning environment for his students to access at any time. According to James, “the students really appreciate this style of teaching and the feedback is amazing!”

“Slowly building up the picture and narrating means it is much easier than looking at a diagram.”- 3rd Year Medical Student

To see how James uses Camtasia to record his lectures, take a look at one of his lessons:


After analyzing the impact of using these video lessons, James has found that engagement has increased and knowledge of the subject has improved. James has even published a research paper in a peer-reviewed journal on the use of video in anatomical education. He has also recently studied knowledge retention and has compared the effectiveness of learning anatomy via screencasts verses traditional textbooks. According to James, “it appears that while studying the same area, students retain more information for a longer period of time if they have used screencasts compared to their peers who used textbooks”.

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James Pickering, Associate Professor, University of Leeds

“Using Camtasia is an essential tool in my educational practice and I have had over 250,000 hits on my YouTube channel. A big world-wide impact in teaching anatomy.”  – James Pickering, Associate Professor at the University of Leeds

James told us that the best part about recording his lectures is the impact on student education, stating that “Camtasia is an ideal tool for students to access core resources in a place and time that’s suitable to them. It clearly suits a lot of their learning styles and appears to help them progress through the course.”

According to James, teaching has been made easier now that he can direct students to additional resources and provide them with a catalogue of videos. James told us, “the only issue is expectations, because now the students want more!”