Video Conferencing to Virtual Cadavers: Classroom Innovation
Developing systems to manage curriculums and changing anatomy classes are only two examples of how UCSF’s TEE (Technology Enhanced Education) team collaborates with medical education. Their goal is to improve medical education with technology and support the entire digital curriculum.
TEE has incorporated various projects, such as Ilios, a robust system used by many schools to manage curriculums. Another program can show medicine students how they compare to their classmates regarding their knowledge of various topics.
Let’s take a look at some more ways that the TEE team is promoting classroom innovation.
Innovation is Top Priority
Innovation is at the heart of UC San Francisco’s reputation as a leader in medical education. Recently, the university started calling in experts for each topic discussed in a course, instead of relying on just one or two faculty members.
TEE supplements this model by using video conferences to get in touch with experts from other educational institutions and allow the faculty at UCSF to lecture students outside of the campus. The video conferencing system that they use also connects the different campuses and labs of UCSF so that clinicians can check in with their faculty coaches, teams, and those working from a distance.
Implementing Virtual Reality
The TEE team recently incorporated a VR application for students studying anatomy. Of course, there are plenty of methods for representing anatomy in 2D via apps. Still, learning has to take place in three dimensions, and the UCSF faculty felt that their students were not getting enough 3D anatomical education.
So, TEE began an investigation and found that VR has become more practical as an educational tool, thanks to the decrease in price for virtual reality equipment. They also found that another medical school had already created the exact thing they were looking for: a VR app with accurate anatomy structures.
When they brought it to UCSF, the students and faculty loved it. They started testing the application during the summer, and the faculty began using it that Fall.
Feedback has been positive so far, and students apparently appreciate the VR anatomy lab. They can peel back distinct tissues and layers since, with real cadavers, identifying different body parts can be a struggle for students because of the process of preservation.
It is also essential for students to learn anatomy in 3D because it gives them the upper hand in a clinical setting. Of course, nothing is foolproof, and UCSF is still working to iron out any problems that students face with the VR headset.
Innovation is all in a day’s work for TEE, and it’s exciting to learn all the new ways that they are improving the classroom. Hopefully, other universities worldwide will be able to take a leaf from their book and innovate their classes.