We’re pleased to announce an additional course will be joining this endeavor, aiming to understand and improve the use of 3D technologies in academia with EDUCAUSE and HP! Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology Jessica Fellmeth’s Anatomy course this Spring will be using the HTC VIVE as part of their lab work, adding to the two courses from this semester in helping us collect data on the best practices for bringing virtual reality (VR) into the classroom.

The connection with Fellmeth’s class was made by our Digital Media Intern and Pre-Med student Rylie Maineville ‘18. While helping oversee our virtual reality system, Mainville was inspired to consider how VR might be of use to students studying anatomy. Learners can see organs within the body, without having to dissect a cadaver, and these organs can be witnessed while simulating body functions and diseases. This creates a much more interactive, visual learning environment to aid and cement understanding.

This course will be using two VR applications: Organon and YOU by Sharecare. We will kick off the course by bringing the HTC VIVE to the lab for a show and tell, guiding the students with hands-on use of the VIVE and the two environments. The VIVE will be used weekly, to examine the different parts of human anatomy under study, by 20 students in four or five groups. We will generate weekly reports on VR usage for the class (frequency and times used for each group/individual), which we will give to Fellmeth to explore if greater use of the VR applications improves understanding in class. There will also be video lessons, yet to be determine, where Jessica will use VR in conjunction with her lecture.

Here are some screenshots of the VR applications in use:

The primary project team for this course is Scott Paul, Ben Salzman, and Rylie Mainville ’18.