Meeting Abstract

S4-7  Friday, Jan. 5 11:00 - 11:30  Visual narrative and jargon minimization in successful anatomy teaching REGA, EA; Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, California

Human Anatomy is the most basic of prerequisites for undergraduate and graduate health science degrees. Yet for all its ubiquity and necessity, it is frequently a class known more for rote memorization of terms than true engaged learning. Two decades of consulting with the animation and film industry have yielded the author some insights about the role of visual narrative in the education of artists, a finding broadly applicable to all student understanding regardless of level. Primates are highly visual animals and human societies worldwide routinely construct narratives explaining natural and social phenomena. Leveraging this characteristic by deliberate use of constructed visual narrative fosters understanding even at the professional school level without the need for specialized jargon. The successful visual narrative will incorporate binary comparatives to underscore key points, as well as developmental and temporal sequences. In this approach, the naming of the structures is of secondary or even tertiary importance. Rendering static morphology in story form and narratively using images to drive learning results greater understanding than the image exposition/term memorization approach dominant in conventional anatomy teaching. Once a visual narrative is assimilated, then individual terms can be more readily "hung on" the erected conceptual framework. Examples from the author's work with Walt Disney Feature Animation, Dreamworks, Sony Imageworks, EA Sports and other studios will be featured.