Integrating computer facilitated learning resources into problem-based learning curricula.

Kennedy GE, Kennedy DM, Eizenberg N. Interactive Multimedia Electronic Journal of Computer-Enhanced learning 2001, 1(2).

Link to journal article
An evaluation of the use of multiple perspectives in the design of computer-facilitated learning.

Kennedy D, Eizenberg N, Kennedy G. The Australian Journal of Educational Technology 2000, 16 (1): 13-25

Practical Anatomy Guides

  • How do textbooks influence learning?
  • Intro text: Driver SC and Eizenberg N.
  • Australian and New Zealand Association for Medical Education Bulletin 1993 20 (4): 2-16.


Anatomedia CD wins top ATOM award

UniNEWS, Monday 14 July 2003, p.3

An educational CD ROM developed at the University of Melbourne has won the Best General Multimedia category at the 21st annual Australlian Teachers of Media (ATOM) awards.

The award-winning CD, An@tomedia: Thorax, provides students of anatomy at all levels – as well as medical and allied health practitioners – with a unique desktop-based way to learn about the anatomy of the upper trunk of the human body.

The CD is the product of innovative courseware design by the An@tomedia team in the University’s Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology and the Department of Teaching, Learning and Research Support (TeLaRS).

Thorax is one of nine CD ROMs in the An@tomedia series on human anatomy being developed over a I0-year period. It was among more than 700 entries across 32 categories competing in this year’s ATOM awards, announced recently at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Federation Square. The ATOM awards celebrate the best of Australian film, television and multimedia products and are open to all students, industry practitioners, educational bodies and educational producers.

An@tomedia CDs provide a novel approach to learning about human anatomy by presenting it from multiple perspectives. The user can construct the body (via regions and systems) and deconstruct it (via dissection and imaging).

Content is both conceptual and practical, with opportunities to view. for example. images of serial dissection or review the anatomy relevant to cardiopulmonary resuscitation and a range of other training procedures.

Key features of the CD series includes detailed serial dissection of real human bodies, coloured overlays of structures, interactive text, images and clinical questions. All information is conveniently linked using an index and search engine for flexible learning.

An@tomedia has so far completed and launched CDs covering Back, Abdomen and Thorax and is putting a fourth, General Anatomy, through final testing for release in second semester.

Leading An@tomedia are Dr Norm Eizenberg, Associate Professor Christopher Briggs, Ms Priscilla Barker and Dr lvica Grkovic, who received the ATOM award on behalf of other members of the team in Anatomy and Cell Biology and TeLaRS.

For more information on An@tomedia CD series see: CDs in the series can be ordered from the University of Melbourne Bookshop website:


Vol. 12, No. 12, 14-28 July 2003

Bloodless dissection via CD-ROM

The Australian: Higher Education, Wednesday July 21, 1999, p.35

Medical students will soon be able to dissect a body any time they wish – and then put it back together to dissect again.

An@tomedia, a new multimedia teaching tool developed at the University of Melbourne, is the key to allowing students to interactively explore anatomy form differently perspectives.

Chief dissector in the department of anatomy and cell biology at the university, Priscilla Barker, said the CD-ROM was not intended as a replacement for real-time it more meaningful.

“Any person who teaches anatomy would say the experiential learning someone gets from dissection is really important.” Ms Barker said.

“You would never want a surgeon to operate on you without having had the experience of doing it before on a cadaver… This way students know what they have to look for in their practical classes.”

Funded by grants from the Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs and the university, the CD-ROM will be launched on Friday. It will be available in eight modules – the back, abdomen, thorax, upper limb, lower limb, pelvis, neck and head. Two modules are completed, with the remaining expected to be completed by 2001.

Ms Barker said the CD-ROM would be a valuable resource for any tertiary students studying anatomy – including students of medicine, science, physiotherapy, dentistry, nursing, chiropractic, osteopathy and massage.

She said An@tomedia would also be useful doctors to explain problems to patients and would be an important aid for anatomy students in countries where dissection is not performed for culturnal reasons.

Associate Professor Christopher Briggs said An@tomedia took up the challenge facing medical educators worldwide – the need to reduce dissection and tutorial time in an increaslingly croweded medical curriculum.

He said the resource didn’t presume prior knowledge of anatomy and an optional text enabled exploration at all levels of difficulty.

The project was a joint team effort by the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology and the Multimedia Education Unit.

The Australian

Wednesday July 21 1999

Congratulations! Associate Professor Norman Eizenberg

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons: Surgical News, October, 2016, p.48


“The Council of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons admits from time to time distinguished surgeons, scientists and other persons to Honorary Fellowship of the College in recognition of their contributions to Surgery, Surgeons and the College. The purpose of the award is to recognise significant work of eminent individuals in any field of endeavour.”




Norman Eizenberg graduated in medicine from the University of Melbourne and is currently Associate Professor in the Centre for Human Anatomy Education, Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology at Monash University as well as Head of Clinical Teaching and Supervision in the Melbourne Clinical School at The University of Notre Dame. He is a distinguished academic with nearly 40 years’ experience teaching medical students and surgical trainees. At Melbourne University Norman rose through the ranks from Demonstrator, Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer where he coordinated the teaching of anatomy to medical students and contributed to major Faculty revisions of the medical curriculum. He joined the staff at Monash in 2009 and Notre Dame in 2016. His major areas of research are medical education and the surgical significance of anatomical variations.

His College association dates from 1976 when he gained top marks in the Part 1 Fellowship examination. Norman has been a key coordinator of the GSSE program and a senior examiner on the Anatomy Discipline Committee of the College. He is also a long standing contributor to basic sciences for the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons and an anatomy examiner for the College of Radiology.

Norm is the project leader of the widely acclaimed, multimedia, e-learning program Anatomedia Online, which comprehensively explores anatomy from multiple perspectives providing flexibility and interactivity for the student to “construct” the human body, by systems and regions or “deconstruct” the body, by dissection and imaging. This provides surgical trainees, with limited resources and heavy clinical commitments, the opportunity to study online in their own time and place of choice. Associate Professor Eizenberg is a co founder of the very successful, dissection-based post graduate Diploma in Surgical Anatomy offered by Melbourne University in association with the College. He is a founding member of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Clinical Anatomists (ANZACA).

Norm Eizenberg is an outstanding teacher with a strong commitment to our College and a worthy recipient of an Honorary Fellowship of this College.

Citation kindly provided by Mr Richard Wong She FRACS and Mr Lubomyr Lemech FRACS

Cutting edge CD to show a slice of life

UniNEWS, Monday 2 August 1999, p.1

Medical students can now dissect a human body – and then put it back together to dissect again.

Using An@tomedia – a new multimedia teaching tool developed at the University of Melbourne – students are now able to explore interactively anatomy from multiple perspectives.

The An@tomedia CD was developed in the University’s Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology by Dr Norman Eizenberg, Associate Professor Christopher Briggs, Ms Priscilla Barker and Dr Ivica Grkovic. Software development was carried out by the University’s Multimedia Education Unit.

A comprehensive and self-contained program, An@tomedia takes an innovative approach to anatomy teaching which complements the new problem-based, undergraduate medical curriculum introduced at the University this year.

Professor Briggs says that An@tomedia has taken up the challendge facing medical educators worldwide – the need to reduce dissection and tutorial time in an incresingly crowded medical curriculum.

“One of its major strengths is the flexibility it offers students,” he says. “It provides them with a detailed resource to use before, during and after practical and tutorials so they can be time-efficent, focusing on areas of clinical significance and anatomy relevant to practical procedures. It doesn’t presume prior knowledge of anatomy; an optional text enables exploration at all levels of difficulty”.

Eight modules will eventually be available in An@tomedia – the head, neck, back, upper limb, lower limb, abdomen, pelvis and thorax. Dr Eizenberg says that with the eight modules, An@tomedia will represent the complete Anatomy course – about 300 hours of intensive teaching.

However, he points out, Ms Barker spent a minimum on 20 hours on the dissection for each frame on the CD. “Medical students can’t spend that amount of time on dissection,” he says.

According to Proffessor Briggs, the major market for An@tomedia is anatomy students worldwide, as well as for medical postgraduate and continuing education study. Medical practitioners could also use the program as a tool to explain problems to patients.

An@tomedia can be complete course replacement, or it can be used as an add-on for practicals, tutorials and lectures in existing dissection programs. “Its layer-by-layer approach offers the best alternative to dissection in courntries where dissection is not preformed for cultural or other reasons,” he says.

And what do the users think of An@tomedia?

First year medical students have overwhelmingly endorsed it. They like the clinical relevance of the material, the clarity of the explanations and the beauty of the images.

Chris Briggs reports that the greatest ‘complaint’ from students shown the first module was theat the other seven modules was the other seven modules were not yet availbale.

An@tomedia is a cross-platorm program for use on Macintosh and PC. It was developed with support from the Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs Committee for University Teaching and Staff Development and a University Teaching and Learning (Multimedia and Education Technology) Committee grant.


2 August 1999

Interactive multimedia package seen as a benchmark achievement in teaching anatomy

UniNEWS, Vol. 13, No. 3, 8-22 March 2004, pp. 4-5

By Norm Eizenberg, Chris Briggs, Priscilla Barker and Ivica Grkovic

Radical changes in medical education, including a shift to more problem-based and independent learning, have seen interactive multimedia teaching play a strategic and expanding role at the University of Melbourne. A highlight of the University’s successful integration of multimedia teaching and learning in medical education is its development of An@tomedia, an internationally acclaimed teaching tool adopted (to date) by 10 other universities in Australia and overseas. Recognition of An@tomedia as a benchmark achievement includes a recent ‘rave’ review from the President of the World Association of Medical Editors writing in the international medical journal The Lancet. Behind An@tomedia is a multidisciplinary team led by four medical scientists who have worked together for more than eight years to bring the concept to fruition. Dr Norm Eizenberg, Associate Professor Chris Briggs, Ms Priscilla Barker and Dr Ivica Grkovic, based in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, outline here the vision and innovation that have helped drive and shape An@tomedia as a teaching tool of the 21st century.

Development and integration of interactive multimedia teaching and learning into university curricula has accelerated rapidly over the past decade, bringing with it a need for strategic decisions involving inevitably major investment and commitment of resources.

The dilemma faced by teaching staff in the University of Melbourne’s School of Medicine and its Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology in the mid 1990s was no doubt one familiar to academics across a range of disciplines at many other universities – whether to buy ready-made products or to develop especially tailored resources in-house.

The main reasons why Melbourne decided on the second option were the limited educational value and lack of interactivity of what was available at that time. Additionally, our aim was to develop a fully comprehensive program covering all aspects of human anatomy (particularly an understanding of anatomical concepts and principles) that could be applied in future clinical contexts.

We saw An@tomedia largely as a resource to transform rather than replace teaching – to be used as a learning material before, during or after lectures and practical classes, but not as a curriculum. In particular, we saw it complementing rather than substituting for particular teaching methods, such as dissection.

The initiation and progression of such an ambitious, long-term project arose out of the framework the University set up for the development of quality learning materials. This provided stability coupled with encouragement at all levels. Also essential was a determined team effort and the collegial support provided in Anatomy and Cell Biology and by the Department of Teaching, Learning and Research Support (TeLARS) and across the University generally.

An@tomedia, among many other initiatives, is thus seen as a tangible outcome of the vision the University has put forward for revolutionising learning.

The package is a self-learning resource which enables exploration at any level, rate, order and degree of detail. It consists of nine modules, each containing approximately 20 hours of core educational activities (including key principles and applications) and 20 hours of advanced activities (including comprehensive details) if desired. Currently available modules are General Anatomy, Thorax, Back and Abdomen. Planned modules, for which much work has already been done, are Pelvis, Upper Limb, Lower Limb, Neck and Head.

Anyone can use An@tomedia. It enables exploration at any level of difficulty from the beginner to a specialist surgeon, including all medical and allied health practitioners and students. The program is an appropriate self-learning resource for both discipline-based and problem-based courses, where it can be used to provide an entire anatomy learning program or, preferably, be used in conjunction with existing learning programs as a resource for practical classes, tutorials, lectures and self-directed learning. Layer-by-layer dissections offer an excellent alternative when users are unable to perform actual dissections.

The name of the package is an acronym for ‘A New Approach to Medical Education: Developments in Anatomy’. The program contains interactive images (or movies) complemented by text. Structures and regions in each image may be labelled and/or highlighted with colour overlays, enabling the user to focus on what is critically important. The user is also engaged to integrate text with the images, through identifications and clinically oriented questions. Immediate feedback is provided via rollover labels and pop-up windows with many explanatory diagrams.

An@tomedia combines the benefits of a photographic atlas of anatomy, overlaid with colour illustrations. Users can choose their desired combination of overlays on serial dissections of real human bodies. Specific information may be easily accessed via the index or search engine and users can make rapid comparisons within or between perspectives. For example, a stomach may be viewed on dissection or post mortem, laparoscopy, radiograph or gastroscopy as well as compared with images of its structure, supply, position and relations.

Users benefit from multiple perspectives, incorporating all types of anatomy books and atlases, linked in one self-learning resource. The user can construct a body via two theoretical perspectives (‘Regions’ and ‘Systems’) and deconstruct it via two practical perspectives (‘Dissection’ and ‘Imaging’).

The four perspectives appear on the main menu as four interlocking forearms, which also represent the principal authors, each of whom assumed responsibility for the content of a perspective. Key input came also from an extensive group of consultants in related clinical specialties associated with the University. Images were developed together with photographers, digital imagers and medical illustrators from Anatomy and Cell Biology, while software, interface and graphics were developed by programmers and graphic designers from the University’s Courseware Development Services within TeLARS.

An@tomedia has been formally evaluated by medical students, anatomy tutors and international experts in anatomy, surgery and education with outstanding results. The product has also been awarded ‘Best CD Project’ and ‘Best Paper’ at the ASCILITE (Australasian Society for Computers In Learning In Tertiary Education) conference in 1999, and ‘Best General Multimedia’ at the ATOM (Australian Teachers of Media) awards in 2003.

Internationally also, An@tomedia is winning recognition. A recent review for The Lancet by Professor Ana Marusic began with the statement: “….An@tomedia would have revolutionised my student days”. Other international reviewers have commented: “The best feature is the layered approach to dissection combined with the superb quality of the images”; and “This is unquestionably the best CD ROM relating to gross anatomy that I have seen and I eagerly await the development of new modules”.

Medical and health science students at Melbourne use the four completed modules in problem-based learning as well as in the traditional science anatomy program. An@tomedia is also used by 10 other universities including McGill (Canada), Cape Town (South Africa) and King’s College London (UK).

When complete, An@tomedia will contain a total of 360 hours of learning activities and will have taken 100,000 hours of work to create. When the total numbers of students who may use the program are taken into consideration, this is indeed an efficient use of resources. Furthermore, An@tomedia can be revisited throughout the clinical years and subsequently in clinical practice or in postgraduate training programs. It provides a valuable life-long learning resource for postgraduates and practitioners in continuing medical education, self-education and even patient education.


Vol. 13, No. 3, 8-22 March 2004

Not for the faint-hearted! Medical website lets you virtually dissect dead bodies

The Daily Mail-UK, Wednesday 18 June 2014

Link to journal article
The body on disc

The Age, Tuesday 3 August 1999, I.T. 1 - p.2

Squeezing the entire human body onto a 12-centimetre silver disc has given the biology courses at Melbourne University new depth.

The university’s department of anatomy and cell biology has developed a CD-ROM called an@tomedia, which “takes apart” a virtual body and incorprates text and learning resources for after-hours dissection by students.

The disc works on the Macintosh and PC platforms, and its developers expect it to reduce the need for real dissections and tutorial times in the revamped medical course at Melbourne.

Eight “modules” are planned, covering the head, neck, back, upper and lower limbs, abdomen, pelvis and thorax.

The Age

Tuesday 3 August 1999

The perfect gift of education in the time of COVID-19

The UniSA Connect, Thursday 04 June 2020

Link to journal article


Current textbooks and anatomy of the prostate: A case for an update

Nathan Lawrentschuk, Uri Lindner, Neil Fleshner British Journal of Urology international (BJU int) 2009, 103 (10), 1319-1322

Link to journal article

Kien dep trai vl

Electronic resources for Surgical Anatomy

Ah-Rin Anna Choi, Rodney Tamblin and Mark D. Stringer Australian & New Zealand Journal of Surgery, 2008, Vol. 78, 1082-1091

Utilising computer based learning to complement class teaching of gross anatomy

Rudi Klein, Puspha Sinnayah, Kate Kelly, Maxwell Winchester, Gayathri Rajaraman, Norman Eizenberg. International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, 27(8), 10-25, 2019

Link to journal article


3LO Evening Show

Tuesday December 14, 1999, 7:00pm, Peter Clarke (3.89MB Streaming QT)

RRR Science Show

Sunday September 19, 1999, 11:00am, Andi Horva (4.03MB Streaming QT)

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