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Digital skulls are a success

The anatomical museum at the Aarhus School of Dentistry has gone online. At the same time, videos, podcasts and multiple-choice assignments are also being used to help the students understand the material. Digital anatomy lessons were one of the topics at AU's Education Fair on 8 October.

By visiting the e-museum you can view up to one thousand of the museum’s specimens.
By visiting the e-museum you can view up to one thousand of the museum’s specimens.

A digital version of the School of Dentistry’s anatomical museum makes it possible for the odontology students at AU to look at specimens of jaws and teeth, no matter where they are actually located. The e-museum was originally created in order to maintain the collection, as the specimens will not last forever. But according to Associate Professor at Department of Dentistry Henrik Løvschall, who is the man behind the e-museum, digitisation has also greatly benefited the teaching, as he told the participants at the Education Fair, where the topic was appropriately enough “Educational IT”.

"The digitalisation of the museum has meant that we always have aids at hand in the teaching. So if the 1,500 drawings in the book syllabus are not enough for the students when they sit at home and study, then it obviously benefits them to have the e-museum available online. This is also true for dentists who have already graduated, but who might need to make use of online resources to refresh their knowledge in special situations," says Henrik Løvschall.

How do you pronounce acromioclavicularis correctly?

The e-museum has also become a starting signal for further digitalisation of anatomy teaching on the dentistry degree programme. The portal contains podcasts with guided museum tours, videos that explain organs and structures, and 4,000 multiple-choice assignments that students can use to test their knowledge.

"We know that some students learn best by listening and others by looking at something visual. So we try to support different learning styles with the platform. In my experience this works and the students are very satisfied," says Henrik Løvschall.

The portal also provides the opportunity to look up the many Latin names for parts of the body and hear how they should be correctly pronounced.

Supported by strategic funds

Henrik Løvschall began the digitisation project on his own initiative, though it has subsequently received support in the form of strategic funding from AU.

"The e-museum is a good example of new digital forms of learning, which can help to inspire others and which we would like to make even more use of at AU. By incorporating technology, the teaching can become more interactive and improve the teaching situation for the benefit of the students. Interactive teaching methods have also been shown to contribute to the retention of students, especially during the first year, and also ensure study progress," says Charlotte Ringsted, Vice-dean for Education at Health.


See more

Visit the anatomy portal and e-museum

See further examples of the digital learning platforms (in Danish only) at AU, which were presented at the seminar on Educational IT at AU.

Further information

Associate Professor Henrik Løvschall
Aarhus University, Department of Dentistry
Tel.: (+45) 4095 2587