PURPOSE. Anatomists are continually trying to find the best way to present visual information to students. A computerized support system can enhance classroom presentations as well as provide student access to the presentations after lecture. This paper looks at which of two types of classroom presentations, was preferred by students: animated PowerPoint presentations compared to non-powerpoint presentations (marker board, transparencies). Secondly, to determine if and how students use PowerPoint presentations after lecture. METHOD. Human anatomy (HA) and neuroscience (NS) students participated in this survey in which approximately half the lectures were animated PowerPoint and half non-powerpoint presentations. PowerPoint presentations were available to students after lecture in the computer center. For the non-powerpoint lectures, students had access to transparencies used in the lectures. Following each, the HA and NS courses, students were asked to rate the two lecture formats using a Likert scale and through open-ended comments. For HA, students were asked IF they used the PowerPoint presentations after class and HOW they used them.
RESULTS. 86% of the students in HA and 80% of the students in NS preferred PowerPoint over non-powerpoint presentations. 62.2 % of the students in HA, report to have used PowerPoint after lecture. Of the 62.2% of the students, 38.5% used PowerPoint to review for exams, 16.9% to "fill in" their notes and 6.8% to study after each lecture.
CONCLUSIONS. We hypothesize there is a preference for PowerPoint presentations in the highly visual anatomy courses at our institution. Further evaluation with other cohorts of students will give additional information to test the hypothesis. Animated PowerPoint presentations appear to be an appropriate method for learning HA and NS.