Anatomy education software is made more accessible for learners and teachers through the development of digital learning experiences.

Partner Organization: BodyViz

BodyViz "renders MRI and CT data directly into interactive 3D visualizations". This software is used by high schools, colleges, medical schools, law firms, and private practices around the world to enhance understanding of anatomy or act as a supplement or substitute for dissection of human cadavers. BodyViz customers, who are usually time-strapped anatomy faculty at higher education institutions, felt that while the the BodyViz software was incredibly engaging, it was difficult to use in their classes. It required too much of their time and effort to integrate.

 As an educational content developer at BodyViz, I created a collection of interactive modules geared towards undergraduate anatomy students for each body system. These modules were designed to be used in labs and lectures and could be uploaded to learning management systems to be assigned as homework or distributed as a student resource.

BodyViz software was directly integrated into the modules by embedding BodyViz files that students could click on, open, and interact with. These BodyViz files consisted of visualizations from our content library that have been prepared to clearly show the anatomical structures of interest. This took the burden off of instructors to create content and allowed students to quickly access meaningful views of anatomy.

The video below shows how a student might interact with the first few sections in an interactive module titled "Anatomy Basics". The second video shows other interactions that were developed to leverage the power of BodyViz's visualization capabilities.

Some of the activities demonstrated in the videos above are examples of activities that use lower order thinking skills such as recalling information. Many of the activities in these modules (some of which are pictured below)  were developed to encourage students to use higher order thinking skills. In the examples below students are encouraged to evaluate statements, analyze real life situations, apply their knowledge, and to use immediate feedback to correct or support their knowledge. This instructional delivery method was used to encourage students to understand as well as recall the anatomical information. 






Relevant and meaningful education content can't be built in a vacuum.


In order to make sure that these digital learning experience were accurate and engaging I established a short process:


1. Integrate research on digital learning experiences, learning theory, anatomy education, and undergraduate anatomy teaching standards with customer feedback and company product roadmaps to create a framework for creating module content.

2. Write an outline and copy for each educational module and develop assets. After the copy is written and edited, development of design and software assets can begin.

3. Peer review of each module by anatomy and education professionals. Reviewers evaluate the appropriateness of the content to undergraduate anatomy students, check for accuracy, and suggest enhancements to improve the educational value of the modules.

4. Publish and deliver the modules after peer review feedback has been integrated and final edits are complete.

One size doesn't fit all when it comes to digital learning experiences.


Many of our BodyViz educators teach specialized courses or organize their course content in a unique way. I worked with several educators to develop customized digital learning experiences built specifically for their curriculum. 

Sometimes that looked like preparing annotated BodyViz files to accompany labeled X-Ray images so that students could view the labeled 2D image and view the same structure in 3D. Occasionally case studies were developed in order to engage students in thinking about multiple body systems in clinical situations. I often, as pictured below, augmented existing powerpoint slides. In the image below I've taken a slide which identifies landmarks on the scapula by adding numbers to an illustration and turned it into an interaction which highlights the entire anatomical structure on a BodyViz rendering of the scapula when the structure is moused over. 


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