AR Philosophy > Animal Testing Index > School Labs - Index

Comparative Studies of Dissection and Other Uses of Animals in Education

1. Cohen, P.S. and Block, M. 1996. A field-based animal research approach for teaching learning and motivation. Alternatives to Laboratory Animals [submitted manuscript]
    Overall performance ratings were equivalent between two groups of students, one that studied operant conditioning in a traditional lab using rats, and the other that studied feral pigeons in a city park.

2. Dewhurst, D.G., Hardcastle, J., Hardcastle, P.T., and Stuart, E. 1994. Comparison of a computer simulation program and a traditional laboratory practical class for teaching the principles of intestinal absorption. American Journal of Physiology 267 (Advances in Physiology Education 12/1): S95-S104.
    Six second-year undergraduate students who worked independently using an interactive computer-assisted learning program achieved equal knowledge gain, at one-fifth the cost, as did eight students who worked under close supervision in a traditional laboratory using freshly killed rats.

3. Downie, R. and Meadows, J. 1995. Experience with a dissection opt-out scheme in university- level biology. Journal of Biological Education 29/3: 187-194.
    The cumulative examination results of 308 students who studied model rats were the same as those of 2,605 students who performed rat dissections. Significant numbers of students in the study claimed that they chose to dissect mainly through concern over their examination results.

4. Fawver, A.L., Branch, C.E., Trentham, L., Robertson, B.T., and Beckett, S.D. 1990. A comparison of interactive videodisc instruction with live animal laboratories. American Journal of Physiology 259 (Advances in Physiology Education 4): S11-S14.
    In this study involving 85 first-year veterinary students, use of interactive videodisc simulations yielded equivalent test performance and greater time efficiency in teaching cardiovascular physiology compared with instruction in a live-animal laboratory.

5. Greenfield, C.L., Johnson, A.L., Schaeffer, D.J., and Hungerford, L.L. 1995. Comparison of surgical skills of students trained with models or live animals. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 206: 1840-1845.
    Surgical skills of thirty-six third-year veterinary students were evaluated following training either with dogs and cats or with soft-tissue organ models. The performance of the two groups was equivalent.

6. Guy, J.F. and Frisby, A.J. 1992. Using interactive videodiscs to teach gross anatomy to undergraduates at The Ohio State University. Academic Medicine 67: 132-133.
    In this study of 473 pre-nursing and pre-medicine students, the performance of those using computers (interactive videodiscs) was not significantly different from that of students in traditional cadaver-demonstration labs.

7. Jones, N.A., Olafson, R.P., and Sutin, J. 1978. Evaluation of a gross anatomy program without dissection. Journal of Medical Education 53: 198-205.
    Learning performance of approximately 100 first-year Emory University medical students using films, computer- assisted instruction, and prosected human cadavers was equivalent to that of students taught using a traditional lecture-dissection program.

8. Lieb, M.J. 1985. Dissection: A valuable motivational tool or a trauma to the high school student? Thesis, Master of Education, National College of Education, Evanston, Illinois.
Post-test scores were equivalent for students who dissected earthworms and those who received a classroom lecture on earthworm anatomy.

9. McCollum, T.L. 1987. The effect of animal dissections on student acquisition of knowledge of and attitudes toward the animals dissected. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Cincinnati.
Half of a group of 350 high school biology students were taught frog structure, function, and adaptation via lecture, the other half by doing a frog dissection. Overall, students taught by lecture performed better on a post-test than did those taught by dissection.

10. More, D. and Ralph, C.L. 1992. A test of effectiveness of courseware in a college biology class. J. Educational Technology Systems 21: 79-84.
Half of a class of 184 first-year biology students used traditional animal-based laboratories while the remainder used computer courseware. Biology knowledge of the computer-taught students increased significantly more than did that of the traditional group.

11. Phelps, J.L., Nilsestuen, J.O., and Hosemann, S. 1992. Assessment of effectiveness of videodisc replacement of a live-animal physiology laboratory. Distinguished Papers Monograph, American Association for Respiratory Care.
Undergraduate nursing and respiratory-therapy students who studied using an interactive video program on cardiac output principles performed significantly better on a post-test than did a similar group taught with lecture and live- animal physiology laboratory.

12. Prentice, E.D., Metcalf, W.K., Quinn, T.H., Sharp, J.G., Jensen, R.H., and Holyoke, E.A. 1977. Stereoscopic anatomy: Evaluation of a new teaching system in human gross anatomy. Journal of Medical Education 52: 758-763.
Based on the learning performances of 16 physician's assistant students evaluated at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the authors concluded that use of labeled sequential slides of anatomical dissections provided a viable alternative to dissection.

13. Samsel, R.W., Schmidt, G.A., Hall, J.B., Wood, L.D.H., Shroff, S.G., and Schumacker, P.T. 1994. Cardiovascular physiology teaching: Computer simulations vs. animal demonstrations. Advances in Physiology Education 11: S36-S46.
Medical students (110) used both computer demonstrations and animal (dog) demonstrations and rated the former higher for learning cardiovascular physiology.

14. Strauss, R.T. and Kinzie, M.B. 1994. Student achievement and attitudes in a pilot study comparing an interactive videodisc simulation to conventional dissection. The American Biology Teacher 56(7): 398-402.
Two groups of high school students (total n = 20) performed equally on a test following either animal dissection or interactive videodisc simulation.

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