Anatomy Students That are “Team‐Taught” May Achieve Better Results Than Those That are “Sole‐Taught” Academic Article uri icon


  • Anatomy practical classes have traditionally been taught by a team of demonstrators (team-taught) in a large dissection room. More recently, particularly in nonmedical contexts, practical classes have been taught by one teacher (sole-taught) to smaller student groups. The aim of this study was to compare student outcomes when the same course was delivered with practical classes team-taught at one campus (metropolitan) and sole-taught at a second campus (regional) while maintaining similar staff to student ratios. This anatomy course, for physiotherapy and lower academically credentialed exercise science/physiology students, utilized blended delivery whereby most content was delivered online and practical classes comprised the main face-to-face teaching. In 2018, the metropolitan campus introduced team-teaching practical classes while the regional campus continued with sole-teaching. Student marks and engagement with online content were compared between campuses and to the previous year (2017) when both campuses had sole-taught practical classes. While final marks for the course increased overall in 2018 (P < 0.01), exercise science/physiology students at the metropolitan campus (team-taught) improved their final marks (53.5 ± 1.1%) compared to a slight decrease for the regional (sole-taught) campus (44.8 ± 1.4%) (P < 0.01). There were no differences between campuses for physiotherapy students in 2018. Student engagement with online content did not contribute to the improvement in marks for exercise science/physiology students. Introduction of a team-teaching format improved student marks, particularly for the lower academically credentialed students. Team-teaching should be considered as the preferred format for anatomy practical classes, particularly in courses involving students with diverse academic credentials.

publication date

  • 2020