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3D Anatomical Student Comprehension Solved

An inside look at Furman University's Virtual Anatomy Lab

August 05, 2019

Victoria Turgeon, PhD has been sharing her passion of neurobiology and anatomy with students of Furman University for 21 years now. Similar to most universities, the anatomy students at Furman did not have access to a cadaver lab. Even though they had a number of anatomical resources compiled over the years, getting students to truly appreciate the 3-dimensional aspects of human anatomy with respect to spatial relationships was proving difficult.

Furman Students showing off 3D anatomy software in new lab

Here is how Furman flew past these Limitations!

To showcase how BodyViz has helped Furman, we wanted to first explore why they chose BodyViz Solutions.

We chose Bodyviz because of the access to so many virtual bodies

The other aspect of our 3D anatomy solutions that appealed to Dr. Turgeon was the interaction with anatomy while performing a virtual dissection. Multiple students can dissect the same body to locate a specific anatomical structure and each student will find the structure in a different, unique way. This hands-on approach enables students to truly make the connections between how the body is built and the relationships that structures have to one another.

How Dr. Turgeon is using BodyViz

Anatomy students of all levels at Furman utilize BodyViz in various ways. One application of BodyViz is in review – both at the start of class to teach basic anatomy and by students in their own time. Additionally, undergraduate students will work in small groups using BodyViz to identify structures on pre-selected bodies. They undergo group projects related to a particular condition, find the anomaly, save screenshots and build a presentation for class. They then present this information to their classmates and talk through how the anomaly would affect function and symptoms.

Certain graduate students have a bit more time and can explore the BodyViz features further. For example, Bodyviz is used to supplement the anatomy portion of primary literature papers by showcasing structures that aren’t available to the students without BodyViz. Additionally, each student will build a case study around a particular anatomy topic to present and virtually dissect for the class using BodyViz.

How has this Impacted the Students?

BodyViz has allowed Furman to surmount their previous limitations in two major ways.

  • Student attitude and self-study

The students love BodyViz and they are excited to use it. As we know, attitude is of critical importance in education, and the ability to increase morale about learning is extremely valuable. Something else we found really cool is that students have now been found in the lab at all hours of the day and night engaged in self-study because of the BodyViz solutions. So, not only are the students more excited to learn, but they are also more likely to take responsibility and study on their own.

  • Student engagement

Increased student engagement from BodyViz is something Furman faculties have also observed. BodyViz is instinctively an engaging resource, but Dr. Turgeon has truly maximized the impact in her classes by incorporating the group / class dissection activities. BodyViz is also accessible to students at all hours of the day, giving them additional learning opportunities.

Both of these limitations are major hurdles that professors struggle with every day in every field. As such, any progress made to consistently improve those categories is a massive step forward.

Furman Lab with BodyViz technology

Looking Forward

What’s next?

For a glimpse into the future, Dr. Tungeon had this to say:

‘I want to build a collection of case studies that link primary literature, test results (such as EKGs, EMGs, spinal cord injury assessments, etc) with specific BodyViz entries. I want to get to the point where I start each class with a dissection warm-up using BodyViz and then have the students be able to identify not only typical anatomy, but also know when the anatomy is atypical.”

Furman, like so many other universities, wanted better access to real human anatomy resources. After implementing BodyViz they were able to achieve just that. BodyViz allowed for a hands-on approach to teach real human anatomy, improved student engagement, and assistance in projects to best help students apply education to clinical practice.

To learn more about how BodyViz can be utilized to increase student engagement and comprehension of anatomical relationships, Schedule an Interactive Demonstration.

Helpful Links:

Video: One-Minute BodyViz Introduction

Article: 3D Anatomy Investment and Budgeting

Article: Simplifying the Selection of 3D Anatomy Resources

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