Virtual Reality in Health Education

Participants at the Show and TEL event try VR simulations in the Medical Science Lab. TELT, Show and TEL, virtual reality, augmented reality, medical education, health education, Katie Freund
14 July 2022

The Technology Enhanced Learning and Teaching (TELT) team hosted the inaugural 'Show and TEL' event on 9 June, 2022. The first in a series of professional development events the team will offer, where experts from ANU and beyond will share their innovative teaching practices and invite you to discuss new ideas.

The event, titled Virtual Reality in Health Education, featured a talk by Associate Professor Jane Frost from the University of Canberra followed by hands-on demonstrations of virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR), and a fishbowl panel on the Pedagogy and Practicalities of using VR in teaching. Together, over 25 academics, clinicians, learning designers, technologists and education officers attended the event face-to-face and via livestream.

Event highlights

One of the key benefits of VR is for students to experience simulated environments that they might not otherwise have access to. For example, students can virtually visit hospital wards during lockdown, or see internal anatomical structures within the human body that are otherwise very difficult to visualise.

Jane explored aspects of extended reality (XR) beyond just virtual reality (VR) and how they can be applied in health education to benefit students.

Watch the recording of Jane's talk

Augmented reality

Options such as augmented reality (AR) can be more practical and meet the learning outcomes without the need for a fully immersive virtual environment. AR involves adding digital elements to the real world that students can interact with.

A demonstration of augmented reality, where participants interact with a virtual patient using a HoloLens and this can be viewed by others using a tablet.

An augmented reality app showing the anatomy of the eye using a tablet.

Interested in trying it?

During the panel discussion, the participants shared how time and resource intensive it is to develop VR simulations. It takes roughly 200 hours to create only 2 minutes of VR, so it’s critical that anyone trying to use it thinks very deeply about why VR is the best tool for the learning outcomes. Any XR uses need to be embedded into the teaching practice so that it complements other activities and isn’t just a novelty.

Watch the recording of the Fishbowl Panel

Thanks to the TELT team for their hard work and dedication which made this event such a great success!

Image: (l-r, front row): Vinuri Wijedasa (video production), Yili Peng (event management), Thao Tran (catering and event support), and (back row): Katie Freund (MC).

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the event!

Guest speaker: Jane Frost, University of Canberra

Demonstration: Jane Frost, Alexandra Webb, Krisztina Valter-Kocsi, Riemke Aggio-Bruce with assistance from Fran Sanchez

Panelists: Bruna Contro Pretero, John Debs, Jane Frost, Siddharth Iyer, Madhawa Perera, Krisztina Valter-Kocsi, Ricky Vuckovic, Alexandra Webb

Photos: Rafael Florez and Tangyao Zhang, Centre for Learning and Teaching