Computer-Based Dissection Manual (CBDM) – Cranium

Publication ID Published Version
9314 January 17, 2013 1


This resource is a skull tutorial, which is part of the online Computer-Based Dissection Manual (CBDM) directed toward first year medical, dental or other students taking human gross anatomy courses with a dissection component. The skull tutorial serves as preparation for the head and neck dissection. It consists of a series of digital images (including newborn skulls) illustrating bones, foramina, bony landmarks, processes, and protuberances, which are labeled, but can be viewed without labels in high resolution. The CBDM – Cranium provides a resource to help students approach the head and neck dissection module, and serves as a powerful tool for independent study and review. The purpose of the CBDM – Cranium is to increase the efficiency of dissection in the gross anatomy laboratory (during dissection students must refer to bony landmarks on the skull) while stimulating active, self-directed learning.

The material is divided into four sections, which contain multiple steps:

  • Skull – Calvaria and Mandible
  • Skull – Anterior View
  • Skull – Lateral and Inferior View
  • Skull – Cranial Fossae and Sphenoid Bone

Every section begins with a set of 10 fill-in-blank pre-test questions, which allow students to assess their current knowledge of the presented material. The following part of each section contains an online atlas of the skull with high quality digital images available both with and without labels for student’s study. The next fraction consists of an interactive exercise (5-6 practical quizzes) which allows students to apply acquired knowledge (toggle the labels). Each section ends with 10 multiple choice post-test questions, which enable learners to determine their improvement. Pre-and post-test questions, as well as practical quizzes stimulate active, self-directed learning and let students easily determine their increase in knowledge after studying the provided material. This also makes the study more attractive and attention-grabbing. The program is menu-driven, allowing students to view all of the content in sequence, or to view selected sections or steps in any order. The CBDM – Cranium is intended as an anatomy laboratory visual guide that may be used as a supplement to a cadaver dissection manual, giving students the opportunity for self-learning and self-assessment. Knowledge of skull osteology is essential for understanding head anatomy and for interpreting the standard radiographs and other imaging techniques such as CT, MRI, and PET.

Note: This MedEdPORTAL tool includes large downloadable files. If you experience difficulty downloading these files, please contact to receive a free CD version via mail.


Kraszpulska B, Christian C, Gainor R. Computer-Based Dissection Manual (CBDM) – Cranium. MedEdPORTAL Publications; 2013. Available from:​adea/​publication/​9314​10.15766/​mep_2374-8265.9314

Educational Objectives

  1. To learn the basic osteology of the skull and mandible.
  2. To create an opportunity for self-learning and self-assessment.
  3. To understand the approach to proper head and neck dissection.
  4. To provide unlimited access to laboratory study materials outside of the anatomy lab. 


  • Skull (MeSH), Osteology, Head, Neck, Dissection, Cranial Fossae, Sphenoid Bone, Cranium


  • Dental
    • Gross Anatomy


  • Knowledge for Practice
  • Practice-based Learning & Improvement

Instructional Methods

  • Assessment
    • Knowledge
    • Self-directed Learning
  • Independent Learning
  • Tutorial

Organ Systems

  • Musculoskeletal system

Academic Focus

  • Basic Sciences
    • Gross Anatomy

Intended Audience

  • Professional School
    • Dental Student
    • Medical Student


  • Image
  • Lab Guide

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ISSN 2374-8265