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Building a Mobile, Virtual Reality Classroom

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student in VR goggles holding VR wants

VR has been incorporated into the University of Utah's Biology 3665 course.

Credit: University of Utah

The University of Utah has designed and built an off-site virtual reality laboratory for use by the school's biology students.

Professor Colleen Farmer is teaching an animal anatomy class this spring where students use VR kits produced by the J. Willard Marriott Library and Teaching and Learning Technologies to dissect the specimens.

The VR creates an active learning experience, Farmer says. "Using the VR dissecting technique, every student has their own dogfish and they're able to work with the specimen as long as they need — removing various organs, examining the vascular system, and so on."

The platform allows all of the students to be in the same virtual space with the instructor, providing the benefit of regular classroom interactions from the safety of their own homes.

The VR kits include Realize Medical's Elucis modeling software to look at 3-D medical imaging in a collaborative, virtual environment. Each student has received an Oculus Quest 2 headset, a Lenovo VR-ready laptop, and specialized hardware to support course learning outcomes.

From University of Utah
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