Janniko Georgiadis: winner of the 2017 Innovation Prize for Education News
At the UMCG, innovation is something that flows through our veins. Being a UMCG researcher, educator or care professional means being innovative. To motivate our staff and show our dedication to innovation, we hand out the innovation prizes for research, education and care on a yearly basis. This prize comes with a fund of 50.000 euro to advance the innovative project. This series showcases how the prizes help UMCG professionals to push the boundaries towards a sustainable future of healthcare. Janniko Georgiadis won the Innovation Prize for Education in January 2017.
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‘We don’t train anatomists here’

Being innovative as an educator means thinking towards the demands of students, focusing more on learning outcomes than on the process. That might mean that sometimes a smartphone app might be more suitable than a book in getting the message across. This was the case in the project of Janniko Georgiadis, professor in anatomy and educational science. Janniko about the problem he identified as a teacher: “In the whole range of biomedical sciences we see that teaching anatomy is a challenge. This goes for first-year students all the way up to doctors training to become medical specialist. With Anatomy Gym we developed an app that teaches anatomy in a DuoLingo-like way. The app has been downloaded over 3000 times now. You won’t become a fully trained anatomist by playing all levels. The goal is to save students’ time so they can spend it on what really matters. Because we don’t train anatomists at the UMCG, we train doctors, dentists and biomedical professionals.”

Education, and anatomy education with that, is changing. So it is only logical that educators evolve accordingly. But perhaps the biggest eye-opener was not Janniko’s experience as educator, but as a father: “I see how people learn nowadays, I see how my son first watches youtube clips about topics before opening his books. For him these youtube guys have a hero-like status because they explain things so well. There are several ways of transferring knowledge, a teacher in front of a room of students is just one option. But other options should be considered as well.” 

Anatomy Gym; the glue between lecture and practicum

Our third year in this corona pandemic is fast approaching. Golden days for e-learning one would say. But Janniko does not fully support this. “There is a danger of losing all contact with students, of them becoming ghosts in your course. This should be avoided by all means. Anatomy Gym is not meant to substitute anything, it is meant to be the glue between what I said in a lecture and what is executed later in the practicum. It is meant to reinforce, not replace, teaching. It is meant to decrease, not increase, the distance between me and my students.”

Janniko’s expertise as an educator is reflected well in the Anatomy Gym, which transcends your average quiz-like app. “We brought learn-theory into the app; when is certain knowledge offered, and when is it offered again when someone did not choose the right answer initially? We want to progress this app, to be able to use it as a research tool in studies in order to couple the learning-effect of this app to students’ performance. We may be able to connect this app to our management learning system and make passing certain levels in the Anatomy Gym app a condition for attending a lecture or seminar. We are not there yet, but it is the direction in which we want to move.”   

Take a look aat the Anatomy Gym in the Appstore

Take a look aat the Anatomy Gym in GooglePlay

This is the last article in the innovation prize series. The new winners will be announced in January 2022.