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Open anatomy learning materials project: is an open access platform with various learning materials on human anatomy. The platform allows students and educators to access high quality resources free of cost and promotes equitable access to education.

Published onApr 27, 2023
Open anatomy learning materials project:


Open Educational Resources (OER) are resources that are freely available for anyone to use and share. These materials are important because they allow students, educators, and researchers to access high-quality resources without incurring financial costs. In addition, OER can be easily updated and improved upon by the community, ensuring that the content stays current and accurate. Also for anatomy, OER play a crucial role in promoting equitable access to education, thus advancing the field of anatomy.

By joining forces between anatomical departments in the Netherlands and Flanders, we were able to develop an online platform with anatomical illustrations, videos, 3D models, and learning modules, nearly all under creative commons license or in the public domain. The anatomyTOOL (Topic Oriented Open Learning) platform includes both existing online material that has been inventoried and selected by experts in the field, as well as new entries developed by a medical illustrator or by the participating educators, such as 3D models of the heart and embryology learning resources. In total, the platform presently includes over 3700 images, 200 3D models, 200 videos, 175 virtual microscopy slides, and 1200 questions in 190 quizzes.

The platform was launched in 2017 and was funded by the Dutch Ministry for Education, Culture, and Science (2015-2017 and 2018-2021). The project was initiated by Paul Gobée from the University of Leiden (LUMC), who is still taking the lead in the project and subsequent actions.


Author biographies

Evie Vereecke (KU Leuven) is professor of anatomy and program director of the bachelor degree medicine at the KU Leuven, Campus Kulak (Kortrijk). She obtained her PhD in 2006 from the University of Antwerp, and was lecturer at the University of Liverpool before joining KU Leuven in 2010. In her research, she focuses on form-function relationships of the musculoskeletal system and uses a combination of dissections, biomechanical experiments, modelling, and imaging techniques. She is passionate about education and enjoys transmitting knowledge to undergraduate and graduate students as well as schoolchildren and the general public.

Paul Gobée (Leiden University) is an M.D. who taught anatomy and pathology to nurses for ten years. Since 2000, he is affiliated with the Department of Anatomy and Embryology of the Leiden University Medical Center as an anatomy teacher and as an e-learning developer/programmer. Since 2015, he is committed to Open Educational Resources, for which he has received three grants from the Dutch Ministry for Education, Culture, and Science. Together with other anatomy departments and colleagues, he developed the anatomyTOOL platform and is currently working on an open anatomy 3D model.

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