April 20, 2015

Unparalleled 3D Learning (2)

Nevada State College began a 3D project by purchasing and implementing a stereo 3D learning solution for their undergraduate science and nursing classes. (See last week's post.) Here is what I saw in Professor Patel’s classroom during my site visit:
Your basic 2D nephron illustration
The Lesson. The lesson involved a review of the nephron, the basic structural and functional unit of the kidney. What was unique was his side-by-side lesson approach: 2D, then stereo 3D. First, he explained how kidneys filter blood using the tiny nephrons to create filtrate. Using both his lecture and PowerPoint visuals, he showed how filtrate ended up becoming the final product, called urine. But then Professor Patel switched to a captivating stereo display, and took the students on a virtual field trip inside the kidney. He navigated inside the glomerulus, which is a tuft of blood vessels in the initial portion of the nephron where filtration specifically occurs. 
A 3D nephron
The Content. This stereo content was rich, remarkable, and simply unparalleled in quality. The textures, the colors, the closeness—all were simply striking. Part of the powerful effect of this lesson was created by the nature of simulation itself. The [Sensavis] 3D Classroom delivers what we have always expected and always wanted from 3D: the ability to go beyond superficial visualization. It offers the remarkable capacity to drill down, then go further down; to go inside, and then travel further inside. In short, to truly experience the long-desired “fantastic voyage” that 3D has always seemed to promise us.” I had seen the Sensavis software before, of course, but I had never seen its impact on a class full of students. It was all I had hoped for.
Andy Kuniyuki, Ph.D.,
Dean, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Nevada State College

A Brewing Impatience. As stated previously, Nevada State College is using Sensavis’s flagship educational product, “The 3D Classroom.” This software offers an array of effective simulations. “But we want more”, insists Dean Kuniyuki. “We know that Sensavis is working on five more simulations. Still, we are rather impatient.” Dean Kuniyuki wants to aggressively push the envelope of content. “We want to be able to show a normal nephron, and then take a look at an unhealthy kidney (with five different diseases) that affect the functioning of the kidney in different ways-normal versus diseased state, if you will.” With his bias toward action, Dean Kuniyuki recently brought an experienced animator from Montreal on staff. So much for trickle down content.

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