Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Timothy Cope (Committee Member), Kathy Engisch (Committee Member), David Ladle (Advisor)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Anatomy provides scientists with a common vocabulary for discussing the human body, and is, therefore, an important aspect of science education. Literature shows that traditional teaching methods may be enhanced by the employment of mastery-based learning in an autonomy-supportive environment. The present study sought to determine the effects of these teaching strategies on the learning of neuroanatomy in a graduate neurobiology course.

These results show students learned and reportedly enjoyed learning a large amount of neuroanatomy. Experimentally taught students who completed the curriculum did well on the 30-item neuroanatomy quiz (mean score 81%), which was administered at the end of the 16-week semester. Administration of a modified Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI) revealed students felt relatively competent, interested, and unpressured (average rating of 5 out of 7) while studying neuroanatomy. They did not report high levels of perceived choice (3/7). We believe these teaching methods should be employed in more courses.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Neuroscience, Cell Biology & Physiology

Year Degree Awarded


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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Anatomy Commons