Traditionally, students have studied human anatomy through dissection and prosection. This requires considerable input from demonstrators, with students working mainly in large groups. Increasing student numbers, decreasing funds for staff, and a need to encourage students to develop independent learning skills that will be of value throughout their professional lives, have meant that the nature of their learning in the Topographical Anatomy Laboratory has had to change. The situation in which groups of students are guided by demonstrators has moved towards a more selfdirected learning environment. Several innovations have been introduced at University College London, including a multimedia laboratory which is the focus of this paper. The results of the evaluation and the lessons learned from the early stages of setting up a selfdirected learning environment are presented.
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