Virtual Reality learning now a reality in Anatomy teaching?

21 Jun 2023
Photo: L-r: Ashley Durfee, Sarah Alturkustani, Dr Mutahira Lone and Dr Andreea Factor

The use of virtual reality as a valuable tool to enhance the teaching of anatomy was demonstrated live by researchers in the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience at the recent UCC College of Medicine and Health Teaching and Learning Showcase in Brookfield Health Sciences.

MSc Human Anatomy student Ashley Durfee and PhD Anatomy student Sarah Alturkustani along with supervisors Dr Andreea Factor and  Dr Mutahira Lone, presented their work "Future Learning: Enhancing Students' Anatomy Understanding Using Virtual Reality Technology" as a poster presentation on Friday 17th June.

The poster was very well attended throughout the day and the live demonstration of Virtual Reality (VR) headsets featuring the Organon Anatomy App generating a lot of interest. The study which was conducted in the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience included 17 volunteer students (8 students of the MSc Human Anatomy programme and 9 undergraduate BSc Neuroscience).


The team consisted of Ashley Durfee, Sarah Alturkustani, Dr Andreea Factor, Dr Mutahira Lone, Dr Olivia O’Leary, Dr Siobhain O’Mahony and Conor O’Mahony. Data analysis from the  pre- and post-questionnaire feedback  showed that VR can effectively supplement traditional teaching by enhancing student engagement, motivation, and anatomy understanding.

Describing the findings Dr Andreea Factor and Dr Mutahira Lone, lecturers in the Anatomy and Neuroscience Department said: ‘VR technology-enhanced learning can play a significant role in increasing the students’ understanding of key anatomical structures and enhance their learning experiences. By adding this educational tool to our current teaching methods, it will also give the students options for more interactive and hands-on learning experiences aligning with the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Inclusive UCC guidelines.’

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News item B. Riedewald

Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience

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