Social media as a learning tool in anatomy education from the perspective of medical and dental students


Clinical Anatomy, vol.36, no.5, pp.809-817, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 36 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/ca.24046
  • Journal Name: Clinical Anatomy
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.809-817
  • Keywords: anatomy education, generation Z, learning tool, medical education, millennials, social media, undergraduate medical education, FACEBOOK, TWITTER
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: Yes


The traditional approach to anatomy teaching is still the most common. Recently, there has been a demand for methods that make students more active and open to communication and cooperation, and are well integrated with technology. Our aim in this study was to determine the social media usage characteristics and anatomy learning experiences of medical and dentistry students, and their expectations about learning via social media. A questionnaire was prepared and distributed to faculties of Medicine and Dentistry in 10 different universities in Türkiye via Google forms. The questionnaire was voluntarily answered by 762 students. Frequency, exploratory factor and confirmatory factor analyses were applied to the data acquired, and a structural equation modeling (SEM) approach was used. The results showed that 54.3% of the students spent more than 90 min/day on social media; 96.5% of the participants preferred to follow anatomical content pages on social media (acpSM) administered by an academic. They stated that the instant responses from acpSM's admin had a positive effect on motivation to learning (4.08 ± 0.89, mean ± SD, on 5-point Likert-type scale). The SEM revealed a statistically significant correlation between the students' learning motivation and the sufficiency and suitability of acpSM content (p < 0.010). Thus, medical and dental students are eager to learn anatomy via social media. However, they found acpSM to be insufficient in quality and quantity and wanted future content to be administered by academics. An acpSM optimized for content sufficiency and suitability increased students' learning motivation.