ANZACA Meeting 2012 - Embryology

From Embryology
Dr Mark Hill

Embryology in an Anatomy World

Embryology Integration into Clinical Anatomy Education using Online Resources

Australian and New Zealand Association of Clinical Anatomists (ANZACA) Meeting 2012

December 9 to 11 at the Crowne Plaza, Coogee, Sydney, Australia.
Links: Conference Homepage | SOMS notice | Embryology
Early zygote.jpg Newborn.jpg
Early Zygote Newborn Infant
Developmental Anatomy Integration into Clinical Anatomy Education using Online Embryology Resources

Clinical anatomy pedagogy was traditionally taught through wet specimens and is now supplemented by a range of videos and other online resources. Clinical embryology was also traditionally taught as "micro-anatomy" using models and/or histological sections from key stages of development. This methodology was always limited in both scope and accessibility. This presentation will demonstrate how dynamic events in embryology can be integrated into new developmental anatomy educational methods.

In 1996 online embryology education at UNSW began with histological sections and a small number of other support resources. In 2004, a new Medicine program began that “blurred” the discipline approach to clinical anatomy teaching, now being integrated into broader cross-discipline “scenarios”. This also provided an opportunity to redesign embryology lecture and practical resources that students could access during and outside of face-to-face teaching times. In 2009, these integrated resources were moved to a new “Wiki” platform, allowing student contributions and knowledge assessment through quiz format items. Pedagogy now is a broad mixture of educational resources classified by anatomical systems and integrated into developmental timelines including: text, histology, normal and abnormal anatomy images, scanning electron micrographs, animations, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, research materials, links and online textbook access. Content can be easily updated in response to student feedback and accessed from anywhere with internet access, opening the possibility of MOOC teaching. Students can now relate both normal and abnormal development to the clinical adult anatomy.

This full presentation and the demonstrated resources can be accessed at:


Galletti1770 birth.jpg BrauneB1.jpg
Birth MRI icon.jpg
 ‎‎Human Birth MRI
Page | Play
Giuseppe Galletti (1770) Wilhelm Braune (1872) Ulf Teichgräber (2012)

Human Carnegie stage 1-23.jpg
Embryo stages 002 icon.jpg
 ‎‎Human Embryo
Page | Play

Teaching Contact Hours

Anatomy teaching USA graph.jpg

Trends in anatomy disciplines contact teaching hours based on data from USA survey.[1]

Human development 001 icon.jpg
 ‎‎Human Development
Page | Play
About this graph
  • Online survey were constructed to gather basic information about gross anatomy, microscopic anatomy, neuroscience/neuroanatomy, and embryology courses.
  • 2009 total of 130 allopathic and 25 osteopathic medical schools in USA.
  • Number of responses (Gross anatomy 65, Microscopic anatomy 45, Neuroscience/Neuroanatomy 31, Embryology 43)


  1. Drake RL, McBride JM, Lachman N & Pawlina W. (2009). Medical education in the anatomical sciences: the winds of change continue to blow. Anat Sci Educ , 2, 253-9. PMID: 19890982 DOI.

UNSW Embryology

  • Medicine contact hours - (lecture and practicals, including foundations and phase 2) is 24 hours.
  • Science contact hours - Lectures 20, Practicals 48.
New Embryology Topics
Less contact time, but a growing list of new clinically relevant topics.

Embryology Online

Technology Timeline
Mark Hill.jpg

The changing technology environment we have experienced in the last 50 years, and more recently in the last 20 "internet years".

  • 1961 - Microfiche - miniaturise data, images and text.
  • 1962 - Slide carousel projector - transport and display content easily.
  • 1960s - Overhead projectors - prepared and flexible in-class.
  • 1977 - Apple computers.
  • 1981 - IBM computers.
  • 1982 - Microsoft MS-DOS.
  • 1990 - Powerpoint - electronic slides.
  • 1991 - Quicktime - multimedia platform for images and animations.
  • 1993 - Mosaic first web browser.
  • 1994 - Netscape Navigator web browser.
  • 1995 - Internet Explorer web browser.
  • 1996 - Flash - multimedia platform for images and animations.
  • 1997 - Embryology site first online.
  • 1998 - Google internet search.
  • 1998 - Blackboard course management system.
  • 2001 - Wikipedia online encyclopaedia running on Mediawiki.
  • 2002 - Moodle course management system.
  • 2004 - Facebook social networking service.
  • 2004 - Embryology website reformatted as 3 column webpages.
  • 2006 - Twitter microblogging service.
  • 2009 - Embryology site transferred to new wiki format.
  • 2010 - iBooks e-book application for iPads.
  • 2012 - ??
About these collapsible tables
Mark Hill.jpg
Ever wanted additional information to be available to the reader, but want the the online material not to be cluttered with your useful (but long winded) explanation? Along comes collapsible tables. Yes all those important remarks, links, pictures, movies, or expanded explanations can be hidden and await the reader clicking "show". Just as quickly the information can be collapsed away again by clicking "hide". A very useful tool, don't forget to give the table a name that hints at its content.

UNSW Embryology

Old Med program New Med program
  • Year 2 semester long
  • 2 lectures/1 practical/week
    • Current science program similar structure
  • Content
    • Embryo histology
    • models, posters
    • Placenta specimen
  • Foundations, Phase 1, 2, 3
  • Vertical integration
  • Content integration
  • Content
    • Online materials
    • Models, specimens
 ‎‎Day 3 to 6
Page | Play
Old Med Program
  • Embryo histology
    • Sections from week 5, week 8 and week 10
    • corresponds to mid-embryonic, end embryonic, early fetal
    • taught as “micro-anatomy”
  • Models
    • Early development, week 5, heart
  • Posters
    • Commercial and in-house
    • Abnormalities
Embryo sections (before the computer)
Human Blastocyst Development


  • Here is a real human conceptus in the first week of development.
  • The actual movie page has a full timeline text description of the developmental events occurring in the video, as well as some labelled images.
  • It can be displayed in full screen mode and stopped, started and dragged both forwards and backwards to demonstrate specific events or features. Also
  • All movies are available in both Quicktime and Flash formats (flash will not play on iPhones or iPads).


  • Note at the bottom of the actual actual movie page a list of related topic categories.
  • Clicking a topic will open a category page listing or related pages and media. Try.
  • Categories can be added to any page or uploaded file to help identify and organise related content.

File usage

  • Any uploaded file (image, movie, audio file, PDF, XL spreadsheet, Word document) when opened by itself will also show the pages where the file is used on the site.
  • For example open File:Human_blastocyst_day_1-6.jpg and scroll down to the "file usage" section, at the time of writing this will show "The following 9 pages link to this file."
  • These 9 pages can also be opened directly from the list.

New Med Program

Medicine large computer lab
Medicine practicals computer use (Jun 2012)
Medicine page accesses (Dec 2012)


Selective rather than Superficial.


  • Content - Introduction to human development
  • First year
  • Overview of timeline
  • Identify first trimester events
  • Critical periods of development
  • Terminology
Human development timeline graph 02.jpg

Beginnings, Growth and Development Cycle A (BGDA)

  • Content - timeline
    • Fertilization to week 3
    • Week 3 to 8
    • Fetal development
    • Placenta
  • Dynamics of development
Week2 001 icon.jpg
 ‎‎Week 2 - Implant
Page | Play
Week3 folding icon.jpg
 ‎‎Week 3
Page | Play

Beginnings, Growth and Development Cycle B (BGDB)

  • Content - Selective systems
    • Gastrointestinal tract
    • Head and sensory (hearing)
    • Urogenital
  • Vertically integrated
  • Gross anatomy - Adult systems
  • Histology - Selected tissue structure
Face 001 icon.jpg
 ‎‎Face Development
Page | Play
Palate 001 icon.jpg
 ‎‎Palate (oral view)
Page | Play
Palate 002 icon.jpg
 ‎‎Palate (front view)
Page | Play

2012 BGD Phase 2 (BGD2)

Critical Periods
  • Content - Applied Embryology and Teratology
  • Clinical stage
  • Apply basic embryology to clinical setting
    • Using Australian statistical data
    • Assisted reproductive technology data
    • Pre-term birth
  • Applied teratology
    • Critical periods of development
    • Placenta and renal function
    • Drug categories

Tutorial - Applied Embryology and Teratology

Online Textbooks

Textbook Links: Textbooks | UNSW Online Textbooks | iBooks | References | Journals | Copyright | Pubmed Most Recent | RSS Feeds | Reports | Online | Societies | Online Databases | OMIM References | Historic - Carnegie | Editing Basics | UNSW Library
Embryology History: Historic Textbooks | Historic Papers

The Developing Human
Larsen’s Human Embryology
Online textbook access 2011.jpg

Online textbook access (2011)

Online Classes

Electron micrographs and bright field images of human embryos, for example Carnegie stage 10 23 day, 11 somite pairs
  • Both lectures and laboratories in Medicine and Science can be prepared and presented online. (Lecture, Practical)
  • Online textbooks are directly linked within the classes. (UNSW links)
  • Additional general notes are available for students to use as topic background. (2012)
  • An extensive glossary of terms is provided to aid understanding of terminology. (Glossary, mesoderm)
    • In development everything changes, even the names of structures!
  • Current related clinical and research data, movies and findings can be provided to show relevance of topics. (Research movies)
  • Quizzes available to test student knowledge (currently broken by a recent software update).
  • Content can also be modified and used for external education purposes. (Maternal-Fetal Medicine Trainees - Renal, Brain Awareness Week 2012)

Lecture Example

  • Replace powerpoint slides
  • Can be formatted for printing
  • Accessible at all times (including Mobile Access)
  • Can be opened during associated practical class
  • Links to:
    • Textbooks
    • Related online pages, including practical, audio etc.
    • Movies
    • Glossary

BGDA Lecture 1

Development of the Embryo/Fetus 1

Practical Example

  • Organised into a timeline
  • Each page worked through with the demonstrator
  • Independent time to ask questions
  • Students can cut n paste for their own notes

BGDA Practical 3

Practical 3: Oogenesis and Ovulation | Gametogenesis | Fertilization | Early Cell Division | Week 1 | Implantation | Week 2 | Extraembryonic Spaces | Gastrulation | Notochord | Week 3

Other Practical Class Pages
Foundations Practical: Introduction | Week 1 and 2 | Week 3 and 4 | Week 1 to 8 | Week 9 to 36 | Neonatal | Critical Periods | Additional Resources | Quiz

Glossary: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | Numbers

Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2024, April 16) Embryology ANZACA Meeting 2012 - Embryology. Retrieved from

What Links Here?
© Dr Mark Hill 2024, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G

Practical 6: Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8

Practical 12: Embryo to Fetus | Second Trimester | Third Trimester | Birth | Neonatal | Abnormalities

Practical 14: Implantation and Early Placentation | Villi Development | Maternal Decidua | Cord Development | Placental Functions | Diagnostic Techniques | Abnormalities

Practical 1: Trilaminar Embryo | Early Embryo | Late Embryo | Fetal | Postnatal | Abnormalities | Lecture | Quiz

Practical 6: Trilaminar Embryo | Early Embryo | Late Embryo | Fetal | Postnatal | Abnormalities

Practical 12: Sex Determination | Early Embryo | Late Embryo | Fetal | Postnatal | Abnormalities | 2011 Audio


ANAT2341 Lab 3: Introduction | Week 3 | Week 4 | Abnormalities | Online Assessment | Group Project
Lab 5: Introduction | Trilaminar Embryo | Early Embryo | Late Embryo | Fetal | Postnatal | Abnormalities | Online Assessment
ANAT2341 Lab 10: Introduction | Early Embryo | Late Embryo | Fetal | Postnatal | Abnormalities | Online Assessment

Student Project Examples


Medicine Student Projects

  • Part of the Medicine undergraduate program allows for individual students to work on research or educational projects related to medicine.
  • The projects are academically supervised and are described as an "Independent Learning Project" (ILP).
Navigation bar 1.jpg
Navigation bar 2.jpg
Basic Heart Development Timeline.jpg
Navigation menus
ILP2006 Generating the surface .gif
Cardiac Embryology Tutorial Carnegie Stage Embryo 3D Animations


Science Student Projects
  • Since 2009 undergraduate science students have been preparing online group projects as part of their ANAT2341 Embryology course.
  • Student group (4-5 students) selects a specific topic within the main theme that they then research and work collaboratively on that topic throughout the semester.
  • Project is discussed online.
  • Assessed by peers, before being finally edited for submission as their group assessment component for the course.
  • Group and Individual contributions can also be monitored.
Project Teams - which are working.
2011 Project Group 1-11 edits.jpg 2011 Talk Group 1-11 edits.jpg
All Project page edits by Group All Discussion page edits by Group
Project timeline.png

Concluding Remarks

  • Model for developing online education resources in embryology (1,731 Content pages , 8,066 Uploaded files, other academics and institutes can develop their own resources here).
  • Can be accessed and edited from anywhere with internet connection (including iPhone and iPad through browser or Application)
  • Parallel pathways in learning, many different ways of explaining specific developmental concepts (Medicine | Science | Movies | Embryonic Development | Human System Development | Human Abnormal Development | Histology | Categories)
  • Relates (and accesses) historic and current research findings and directions.
  • Allows content linked Quizzes.
  • Allows easy student online project work.

Educational Links

Help me, please....
Mark Hill.jpg
Lost, confused? There are many Help Pages designed with the novice user in mind, describing or providing online tutorials in navigation, editing, copyright issues, tables, images, referencing......

I did not get the opportunity to cover all the online topics in my talk. If you are looking form more look in Animals or Explore in the lefthand menu (on every page) or simply use the search window at the top of the page for your topic of interest.

I am always happy to receive feedback on your educational experience, errors or omissions on the site.

Finally, and most importantly, I thank all my Contributors who have helped make this a site so rich in embryology content.

--Mark Hill 18:03, 11 December 2012 (EST)

Glossary Links

Glossary: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | Numbers | Symbols | Term Link

Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2024, April 16) Embryology ANZACA Meeting 2012 - Embryology. Retrieved from

What Links Here?
© Dr Mark Hill 2024, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G