Thorax Virtual Anatomy Lab for Pre-Professional Health Sciences Students

Publication ID Published Version
3155 July 22, 2009 1


This is an online tutorial that serves as an introduction to human thorax gross anatomy for pre-professional health sciences students. Its objective is to stimulate active self-directed learning by integrating gross anatomy into a structured format that is readily accessible for local and distance learning. The thorax and its parts are dissected, photographed, and the images are digitized for computer-assisted instruction. They are constructed with Flash software for interactive learning. This knowledge is critical to prepare students for their clinical years.

Active learning was achieved by grouping the contents into parts dealing with the thorax anatomy, e.g., the wall, lungs, heart, and mediastinum. The use of drag and drop labels on high quality images provides the interactive learning. It challenges students with identification and matching exercises, as well as cadaver lab quizzes. It compliments didactic and practical activities for nursing and dental hygiene students enrolled in the Human Anatomy Online course.


Klinkhachorn P, Kraszpulska B, Allen E, Altemus J, Walker E. Thorax Virtual Anatomy Lab for Pre-Professional Health Sciences Students. MedEdPORTAL Publications; 2009. Available from:

Educational Objectives

  1. To be able to learn the normal gross anatomy of the human thorax.
  2. To be able to stimulate self-directed learning.
  3. To be able to provide access for both local and distance learning.


  • Computer-Aided Instruction, Thorax Virtual Lab, Educational Technology (MeSH)


  • Knowledge for Practice
  • Practice-based Learning & Improvement

Professional Interest

  • Distance Learning
  • Instructional Materials/Methods

Instructional Methods

  • Independent Learning
  • Tutorial

Organ Systems

  • Musculoskeletal system

Academic Focus

  • Basic Sciences
    • Gross Anatomy

Intended Audience

  • Professional School
    • Dental Student
    • Medical Student


  • Animation
  • Multimedia

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ISSN 2374-8265