Philanthropic Support for Online Learning


In a year when online learning has become commonplace, the University’s Health and Medical students have received an additional learning resource – thanks to the generosity of alumna and donor Peggy Barker.

An@tomedia is a database which delivers a new approach to medical education. Developed at the University of Melbourne, the database is an interactive anatomy resource, allowing users to deconstruct different parts of the body. It has been adopted by a number of leading universities around the globe, including University of Cambridge, King’s College London and peak speciality institutions, such as the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

It contains 360 hours of online learning materials and has been a bonus for students studying from home, allowing them to access over 4,000 images including during serial dissection and using radiographic techniques on living subjects. 

The database was purchased at the start of 2020 and has been used by hundreds of students since then, clocking up thousands of sessions.

Peggy Barker (BSc (Hons) 1967, MSc 1969) immediately saw the benefit such a resource would have for students, and her gift has become even more important as the year progressed. 

“I have always wanted to donate something enduring and significant to the Barr-Smith Library. This should be the perfect resource to accompany the teaching of human anatomy online. The pandemic has fast-tracked the trend to virtual learning, and the universities that have the resources to deliver effective online learning will have an advantage in attracting students, now and into the future,” Peggy said.

An@tomedia has been taken up enthusiastically by students, teachers and researchers alike.

 “It is a great resource for looking at cadaveric structures,” said Marko Stojanovic (BHlthSc (Hons) 2018), PhD candidate and Teaching Assistant. 

“In addition, it also has mini quizzes built in, so students can use it for revision and preparation for anatomy spotter exams. I’ve had students tell me how helpful it has been, particularly this year when so much of their learning has been online.”

Peggy hopes that her gift will have long-term benefits for both students and the University, and encourages others to consider supporting however they can.

“I hope that it will attract more human science students to the University of Adelaide and enhance its reputation as a very well-resourced University.

“By supporting one’s alma mater, you are giving back to an institution that nurtured you through your academic and formative years,” Peggy said.

If stories like this inspire you, as they inspire us, we invite you to make a gift today.


Tagged in philanthrophy, impact of giving