Last week UP hosted a team of 6 anatomy teachers from the University of Melbourne’s Department of Anatomy and Neurosciences.  The team was led by Associate Professor Dr Jennifer Hayes.  This is Dr Hayes’ third visit to Cambodia. Others in the team were:  Dr Jason Ivanusic , Dr Kate Hatzopoulos, Dr Junhua Ziao and Dr Michael Williams.  In their department they teach over 2000 students per year, so they are very aware of the challenges of teaching large groups of students. 
The week began with a half day workshop for teachers of anatomy from UP, IU, University of Health Sciences, and the Military University.  Methods of teaching anatomy to students were shared, and participants were introduced to some interesting ways to improve learning for the students, especially by incorporating “hands on” activities, and through “peer teaching”.  Evaluation of students was also covered.

From Tuesday to Friday, there were two lectures per day for students, and the remainder of the time was spent in the laboratory, taking students through a range of practical exercises.  Each day was a different theme – focusing on the needs of each department (medicine, nursing, midwifery and dentistry).  Up to 60 students attended each workshop at a time, and they were split into 4 smaller groups and rotated around 4 stations during the 1.5 hour session.  Learning resources included models, photographs, bones and radiographs.  Each student had a handout with information and questions to be completed.  One of the most enjoyable activities was “body and face painting” – where students painted anatomical structures on the bodies of their classmates.  Students loved this way of learning.

On the Thursday the team invited a group of medical students (who had done the thorax workshop the previous day) to become “peer teachers” for nursing students.  The result was very good and demonstrated that this type of student to student teaching can be very effective. 

Before their departure the team donated a range of items for UP to use in anatomy teaching, including: 3 anatomy textbooks, 3 DVDs on anatomy (an@tomedia), 4 pelvis’s (2 male, 2 female), 1 set of anatomy flash cards, 11 pen lights, and 80 large laminated photos of anatomical prosections.  These donations will be very helpful in teaching students anatomy in the future.  

Thanks to all those who helped make this visit possible, and to all those who participated so willingly.  And a very big thanks to Assoc Prof Jenny Hayes and her team from University of Melbourne.