Attention, Please!

August 4, 2021

How to get your students attention

Nothing is more infuriating to a teacher, professor, and instructors alike, than spending time preparing for a lecture, and then sharing your knowledge and hard work with a class of students who would obviously be about anywhere else.

Instructors want to believe that students are listening and comprehending what they are teaching. But, when they see how many of their students’ faces are lit up by phones during class occupying their minds elsewhere, or they have to call on one-more student to answer a question, and the student asks them to please repeat the question because they missed it…. Instructors can hit a breaking point.

Every teacher has been here.

The competition for your students’ attention is unique in nature and an increasing struggle in all honesty. With new technology coming out practically every week from new phones, smart watches we can call and text from, wireless earbuds that go completely unnoticed, and Facebook’s new announcement about teaming up with Ray-Ban to create smart glasses with Apple and Microsoft also competing to roll this sort of new wearable optic technology too - how are professors supposed to keep up?

The old tricks of changing the level and tone of your voice and adding pictures to slides is not cutting it anymore.  Students are sneaky and resilient. We have come up with 3 new strategies Anatomy and Biology instructors can implement into their lectures to help retain student engagement:

1.  3D Visualizations

A crucial aspect to a solid understanding of anatomy is a grasp of the complex spatial relationships within the body.  What we are talking about is giving students a better understanding of how the diaphragm sits directly inferior to the lungs and stretches from frontal to posterior surfaces of the abdomen to assist in inhalation when the diaphragm relaxes and exhalation when the diaphragm pushes against the lungs to expand their contents. This sentence may make perfect sense to an anatomy professor or graduate student, but to any high school or freshman in college student, that sentence may have seemed like an entirely different language.

Anatomy professors seem limited to only a couple tools to express these dimensional relationships like using plastic models, traditional dissections, or 2D drawings and images.  BodyViz offers 3D dissection software using anatomy from real patients! Using BodyViz allows students unlimited access to examine, dissect, annotate, and color limitless amounts of authentic anatomy from any computer or laptop.  Our instructor licenses also allow instructors to record lectures and videos directly from the BodyViz anatomy lab.  Instructors can use these videos in lecture to demonstrate complex spatial relationships - saving instructors time and giving students a  better understanding.

2.  Interactive Quizzes

There is something about the word “quiz” that grabs student's attention in the same way a class email with the word “exam” in the subject line has a higher open rate. Top Hat questions and Kahoot games are great ways to make lectures interactive during class by having students respond to a question or gameshow style quizzes from their phone or computer that they can only participate in if they are present in class and given the access code (making this another creative way to increase class attendance in addition to participation). Quizzes are a great way to ensure students are paying attention and understanding what you are teaching.  

On our BodyViz social media accounts, you can see weekly #BodyVizQuizzes that offer an anatomical question, poll, and solution videos.  We encourage instructors to look at these and use them as inspiration for how to spice up and personalize their lectures, Top Hat questions, and Kahoot games. The questions are from the BodyViz Portal which is an online platform accessible anywhere with WiFi. With 72 activities organized systematically, premade quizzes, automatic grading, and LMS integration for high school, undergraduate, and graduate levels - this is an anatomy professor’s dream come true.   


Watch this 28-sec BodyViz Quiz video from our Twitter page!

Schedule a Demo to learn more about BodyViz Portal

Schedule Demo

3.  Real Life Applications

If students understand the importance and relevance of what they are learning, then they will want to listen!  Giving students real life applications of what they are learning - no matter their academic level - is crucial in keeping your students' attention. This is why it is important to use real anatomy from actual patients instead of only modeled, cartoony anatomy from plastic models. With BodyViz, all of our BodyViz Files (BVFs) are from actual MRI and CT scans of real humans! Give your students an opportunity to see natural variations, developmental differences, and experience viewing injuries and diagnoses with BodyViz! On our social media pages you can see short examples of case studies with our You Be the Doc videos that give the patient’s age, gender, symptoms as well as video clips from the actual patient BVF.  With BodyViz 3D anatomy software, instructors are able to easily create limitless case studies similar to these videos with even more patient details and diagnosis information. 

Watch this 1 minute patient with multiple pelvic fractures Case Study!

Take the next step in getting your students’ attention today! Schedule your BodyViz Demo and learn more about the solutions we have to increase your class engagement!

Schedule Demo

Follow us on social media to see weekly quizzes, case studies, and what is new with BodyViz! Click on the logos to go to our page.


Helpful Links



Ray-Ban 'smart glasses' will be Facebook's next hardware product, says Zuckerberg

Top Hat