Idaho State University's 3D Virtual Anatomy Lab

June 2, 2020

After the addition of an all new, state of the art cadaver lab at Idaho State University, students in Anatomy and Physiology l&ll continued to struggle with restrictions presented in the anatomy lab. While the anatomical experiences facilitated through their new cadaver lab cannot be matched, the time each student is able to spend working hands-on with the cadavers continued to be an obstacle for ISU.

“Students get limited time in the cadaver lab working with cadavers. Because that time is limited, we give them the opportunity to come into the virtual anatomy lab where they can access the same structures in an immersive 3D experience and can reference things they have been learning about in the cadaver lab.” Brian Atkinson, ISU Classroom Design Specialist.

In addition to working in the new cadaver lab, students at Idaho State University receive expanded access to hands-on dissection experiences through their 3D virtual anatomy lab. Complementing the 12 cadaver stations in the L.S. Skaggs Treasure Valley A&P Labs, students can utilize BodyViz 3D anatomy software to perform virtual dissections when their time in the cadaver lab is limited. Using interactive 3D visualizations rendered directly from real human anatomy (MRI and CT scans), ISU students are able to continue their dissection and learning experiences outside of the cadaver lab.

The benefits of taking traditional anatomy experiences and pairing it with a virtual dissection lab are endless. ISU students are able to utilize 3D anatomy software to familiarize themselves with anatomical learning objectives before setting foot in the cadaver lab, making their time spent working hands-on with the cadavers more valuable. For first time anatomy students, entering the cadaver lab is, more often than not, a daunting sight. For students, the unsettling feeling of this unique environment when paired with brand new learning objectives is something that many struggle to get past. Having access to perform non-destructive, repeatable virtual dissections before executing on a physical cadaver helps students build confidence and eliminates many of the uncertainties presented in the cadaver lab.

In addition, students are able to take the learning experiences from the cadaver lab and replicate the dissection process in the virtual anatomy lab, strengthening their comprehension of course material. This allows ISU students to master anatomical concepts in a unique way that was not possible before the addition of the BodyViz virtual anatomy lab.

Limitless exploration of anatomy

The 3D visualizations presented in the anatomy software allow students to intuitively explore complex anatomical relationships and:

  • Virtually dissect anatomy without fear of making mistakes
  • Easily compare abnormal and normal pathologies side by side
  • Study variations in anatomy that are not available via donated bodies
  • Annotate anatomical structures
  • Share content with instructors and fellow students
  • Change viewpoints, “fly-through” systems, and explore anatomy from the inside out
  • Save their progress and return to the learning objectives at any time

At BodyViz, we understand the importance of providing cadaver lab experiences in anatomy education. We know that nothing will prepare your anatomy students for post academic success more effectively then studying from and dissecting on a physical human body. Although cadaver dissection is the most effective resource for teaching anatomy, there are steps you can take as anatomy educators to enhance your students' learning experiences, both inside and outside of the cadaver lab. By providing expanded access to dissection resources using 3D anatomy software, you can significantly improve the interactions your students will have in the cadaver lab and ensure that they have the necessary resources to study when time in the cadaver lab is restricted. For more information about how BodyViz can help you teach anatomy more effectively, schedule a demo today!