La Trobe

File(s) not publicly available

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

journal contribution
posted on 2021-01-08, 05:25 authored by Aaron McDonaldAaron McDonald, Rodney GreenRodney Green, Anita ZachariasAnita Zacharias, Laura WhitburnLaura Whitburn, Diane Hughes, Margaret E Colasante, Heath McGowanHeath McGowan
© 2020 American Association for Anatomy 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.


This study was funded, in part, by the Schools of Molecular Sciences and Life Sciences at La Trobe University.


Publication Date



Anatomical Sciences Education

Article Number








Rights Statement

The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.