Primary Faculty

Nancy Halliday, Ph.D.

Nancy Halliday, Ph.D.

Vice Chair for Education, Department of Cell Biology
David Ross Boyd Professor, Department of Cell Biology
Adjunct Professor, Graduate Faculty, Instructional Leadership & Academic Curriculum, The Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education
Adjunct Professor, Family and Preventive Medicine


Ph.D., Cell Biology, University of Oklahoma College of Medicine
B.S., Summa Cum Laude, Biology, Southern Nazarene University, Bethany, OK
B.Mus., Performance, Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY

Contact Information:

Office Phone: (405) 271-8001 ext. 47959
Fax Number: 405-271-3548




University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center 
Department of Cell Biology
940 Stanton L. Young Blvd., BSEB 238
Oklahoma City, OK 73104

Research Interests:


My research is focused on the scholarship of teaching and learning in a medical school environment. I use a scholarly approach to understanding learning, teaching, and assessment in medical education, particularly in the discipline of Anatomical Sciences. The goal of evidence-based medical education curricular design is to improve the quality of future physicians' education.


Recently (2010), the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine reduced its gross anatomy course from 130 hours over a full semester to 105 hours over 6.5 weeks as part of a new integrated systems-based pre-clinical curriculum. In addition to reduction in contact hours, content from embryology, histology and radiology were integrated into the anatomy course. In order to meet the challenge of providing medical students with sufficient anatomical background in this condensed and integrated curriculum, we continue to develop new teaching strategies based on our education research outcomes.


Role of Feedback in Student Learning and Retention


The education research literature indicates that student learning and content retention is enhanced by regular corrective feedback. However, this research is focused on secondary education and undergraduate college environments. We designed and evaluated a number of regular assessments with corrective feedback in the context of medical education.


In the 2010 iteration of the new curriculum, we implemented a weekend quiz that would allow students to assess their level of knowledge over the material presented during the week. Students had 3 opportunities to pass the open resource quiz that could be attempted in groups. The group interaction and discussion was intended to facilitate learning and retention. During the first iteration of the course, we did not provide formative, corrective feedback for the weekend quizzes. End of course surveys indicated that only 35.8% of students agreed that "the weekly quizzes helped me prepare for summative exams". In subsequent course iterations, we included corrective feedback on missed quiz items and observed a dramatic change in student evaluations of the effectiveness of the activity. After adding feedback, almost 80% of the students agreed that the formative quizzes helped them prepare for the summative exams. More importantly, we noted improvement in student performance on summative exams after implementation of formative feedback. We noted a statistically significant gain in between the first year (no feedback) and both the second and third iterations o fthe course (p<.05), with no increase between the second and third iteration. The following figure provides date regarding the first itertation (no feedback) with the second and third years (feedback).

Figure Legend: Comparison of summative exam performance of students who received no formative feedback on weekend quizzes during the first year (2010) with those who received formative feedback during the second and third years (2011-12). Analysis of 42 exact items were conducted pre and post intervention using ANOVA. *=p<.05.


Objectives-driven learning maximizes student outcomes


The need to incorporate innovative tools that maximize efficiency and increase learning increases as the didactic time given to basic science disciplines is decreased. Providing specific learning objectives assists students in organizing their study and learning. To maximize learning efficiency in the gross anatomy laboratory, we provided organized structure lists that served essentially as directed learning objectives. Our hypothesis was that these lists would lead to an increase in student performance on practical examinations. In this study, we provided structure lists for some, but not all regions. Comparing student performance on non-listed versus listed structures on practical examinations, we observed a statistically significant increase in exam item scores for listed structures. In addition, students self-reported that the lists provided organization and guidance to the dissection experience.

Figure Legend: Comparison of practical examination test item performance on non-listed versus listed dissection structures. Unpaired t-test, p=0.01



American Association of Anatomists (AAA)
American Association of Clinical Anatomists (AACA)
OUHSC Academy of Teaching Scholars
Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)
Southern Group on Educational Affairs (AAMC-SGEA)

Selected Publications:


Complete list of publications: