Project Description

During the Spring 2023 semester, VAR Edu collaborated with Lisa Mangel, an assistant teaching professor of biology, to integrate the Human Anatomy VR program into her BIOL 164: Human Anatomy and Physiology II course sections. Nicholas Smerker from Technology and Learning with Technologies (TLT) managed to secure a free trial period of the full program for the complete fleet of VAR Edu’s Meta Quest 2 headsets. 

In February, Mangel brought in three sections of her course, totaling sixty students, for one of their weekly lab sessions that lasted one hour and fifty minutes. Each section consisted of 20 students divided into three groups. While one group used the VR headsets, the other two groups engaged in other anatomy-related activities, such as using an interactive touch screen display to examine cadavers of the human body. 

For the immersive experience, students delved into the VR headsets to explore the human body in an interactive format. Initially, they underwent a comprehensive 10-minute tutorial within the program to familiarize themselves with its tools. Subsequently, they explored the provided models of various anatomical systems and microanatomy. The students were specifically assigned the task of examining the arteries and veins. 

Mangel observed that her students were pleased with the experience, and it provided them with a highly interactive approach to engaging with the course content. Due to the initial visit’s success, Mangel decided to organize another lab visit in April, a week before finals. She included a fourth section, bringing the total number of participants facilitated that day to eighty. This time, the experience served as a review, and students were tasked with exploring all the organ systems they had been introduced to throughout the semester-long course.  

Overall, this integration was remarkable due to its scale, with a total of 140 experiences facilitated. Additionally, it stood out not only because of the extensive and powerful nature of the program but also because the students had the opportunity to engage in two distinct VR experiences within a single semester. When the students returned for their second visit, they demonstrated increased proficiency in understanding and utilizing the capabilities of technology, showcasing their accelerated learning and adaptability. 

View a VR Run Through of the program created in the XR Cast studio here: Human Anatomy VR  – VR Run Through 

View a Faculty Story highlighting the integration created by the Immersive Experience Lab at University Park here: Faculty Stories: Dr Lisa Mangel (BIOL 164)