Social media Facebook and You Tube usefulness in anatomy learning: experience at Sapienza University of Rome

From Firenze University Press Journal: Italian Journal of Anatomy and Embryology

University of Florence
3 min readNov 16, 2022


Michela Relucenti, Department SAIMLAL, Sapienza University of Rome

Francesca Alby, Department of Social and Developmental Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome

Fatima Longo, Department SAIMLAL, Sapienza University of Rome

Selenia Miglietta, Department SAIMLAL, Sapienza University of Rome

Marilena Fatigante, Department of Social and Developmental Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome

Pietro Familiari, Neurosurgery Division, NESMOS Department, Sapienza University of Rome

Cristina Zucchermaglio, Department of Social and Developmental Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome

Giuseppe Familiari, Department SAIMLAL, Sapienza University of Rome

The term Digital Natives, was coined originally by Marc Prensky (2001), to identify a new generation of humans born after 1990 (they were also called Net-generation from Oblinger & Oblinger 2005, and Millennials from Tapscott, 1997). Digital natives have never known a world without computers, internet, video games, and mobile phones (Roberts, 2005). Internet and related technologies have a major influence on digital native’s culture and development, in fact they are growing up in a new media
ecosystem, where the use of the net and social media is a daily practice.

University students, for some years now, belong to the generation of digital natives, their life is often characterized by the time spent on public transport to reach the university, during the journey students use their smartphone both to communicate with each other and to take advantage of multimedia content and surf the Internet. The distances and traffic of a large city sometimes make it difficult for students to meet a professor,
especially if the teacher’s office is far from the one where the lessons are held or from the hospital where they attend the wards. Sudden meteorological or socio-political events can lead to the displacement of lessons or exams to another date or place, the timely notification of such changes is essential to avoid unnecessary loss of time for students.

Studies in literature (Siemens, Weller 2011; Manca, Ranieri 2013) state that social media have shown to have potential as learning environments, if developed within educational projects. According to several authors, using social media and new learning platforms allows the research of increasingly rich and complex materials and stimulates the creation of virtual communities. Moreover they call for a collaborative, reflective and metacognitive approach to study through the comparison of the objectives and content of educational activity (Cacciamani & Giannadrea, 2004; Scardamalia & Bereiter; 2004; Sthal, Koschmann, & Suthers, 2006; De Marco and Albanese 2009; Trentin, 2011; Varisco, 2000, 2008).

Although these surveys show a growing interest in the use of social media in university education, there is a paucity of outcome based, empirical studies assessing the impact of social media in medical education (Magro et al. 2013; Sutherland and Jalali, 2017; Fisher et al., 2018). This is more valid as far as the anatomy education is concerned, in fact the research so far about the use of social media in anatomy education is limited and lacks comparative studies (Cytas, 2019).

DOI: 10.13128/ijae-10791

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