RESOURCE: Investigating the use of quick response codes in the gross anatomy laboratory.
The use of quick response QR codes within undergraduate university courses is on the rise, yet literature concerning their use in medical education is scant. This study examined student perceptions on the usefulness of QR codes as learning aids in a medical gross anatomy course, statistically analyzed whether this learning aid impacted student performance, and evaluated whether performance could be explained by the frequency of QR code usage. Question prompts and QR codes tagged on cadaveric specimens and models were available for four weeks as learning aids to medical n = 155 and doctor of physical therapy n = 39 students. Each QR code provided answers to posed questions in the form of embedded text or hyperlinked web pages. Students’ perceptions were gathered using a formative questionnaire and practical examination scores were used to assess potential gains in student achievement. Overall, students responded positively to the use of QR codes in the gross anatomy laboratory as 89% 57/64 agreed the codes augmented their learning of anatomy. The users’ most noticeable objection to using QR codes was the reluctance to bring their smartphones into the gross anatomy laboratory. A comparison between the performance of QR code users and non-users was found to be nonsignificant P = 0.113, and no significant gains in performance P = 0.302 were observed after the intervention. Learners welcomed the implementation of QR code technology in the gross anatomy laboratory, yet this intervention had no apparent effect on practical examination performance.