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Australian University Students Using AR and VR Technologies for Enhanced Anatomy Learning

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are two of the most prominent forms of immersive technology with considerable potential for educational use. A university in Australia is pushing the boundaries of educational VR and AR applications.

La Trobe University has started augmented and virtual reality deployments for helping its students gain knowledge regarding the human anatomy. It has a 12-week long programme to help students learn the fundamentals using augmented reality-powered resources.

Image courtesy of moregoldcoast

This new development is yet another step that signifies how XR (a mix of AR and VR) is enhancing the environment in which students learn and grow their practical skills. The pilot programme launched by La Trobe University is geared towards enabling students improve their developmental learning, spatial awareness and accessibility.

The AR application offered by the university lets students avail a 24-hour access to three-dimensional anatomical images. They can view the resources on their computers, phones or iPads. Virtual reality headsets will be utilised on campus to facilitate students’ access to this technology type.

Using augmented reality technology expands the learning capabilities of students due to the resources it makes available. With AR, students can easily visualise human anatomical structures and even manipulate them. It helps them to gain a clearer human anatomy understanding. The app also lets students project anatomical models on others, to understand the correlation of muscle functioning and movements. Students stand to benefit from using the AR-based anatomy learning technology for both self-learning and collaborative learning.

image courtesy of moregoldcoast

The application of augmented reality for learning is also beneficial from a financial standpoint. Using the AR technology offering will cost AUD $10 or USD $6.74 for each student, who will be paying this amount for their respective licenses. This cost is comparatively quiet lower than that of Australian anatomy textbooks that sell for upwards of AUD $100.

The 12-week AR-based learning programme will let students use their tools for interactive and digital human anatomy examination. Augmented reality is also readily available and offers greater flexibility than conventional textbooks.

AR technology also enhances the accessibility of anatomy learning. It offers high-resolution 3D images and clinical instances readily available for study purposes. Other features offered include quizzes and texts that can be accessed in class, at home, or at any location chosen by students.

Immersive learning features are being offered across all anatomy courses during the pilot stage of technology implementation. Students have responded positively to the introduction of this technology during the XR learning pilot programme phase, as it led to improvements of their grades.

Technology instances are bringing about a fast transformation in the educational sector as computers and tablet devices are easily available across all places of education. Digital learning platforms like massive open online courses (MOOCS) have gained considerable importance in the past few years.

The online education company eDX has made online courses from prestigious establishments like Columbia University available for learners. The domain of AR and VR education is set to diversify even more in the coming years.

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