Defining virtual, augmented and mixed reality in physiology education

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Over the past decade, a large portion of my time has been spent working on integrating technology into physiology teaching. It has
been an enjoyable and rewarding journey, especially learning how to create virtual models of organ systems and anatomical
structures for students to navigate through using devices such as virtual, augmented and mixed reality. In March 2020, when
social distancing was enforced and teaching conducted online, our team immediately thought it would be fantastic to convert the
virtual reality lessons into online sessions to engage students within their homes. However, we soon realised that although
technology can theoretically allow for learning at any time in any place, this often needs to be a specific goal during the lesson’s
creation. Only one of my students owned a virtual reality headset, and no-one had access to the mixed reality device I’d been
planning to use, the Microsoft HoloLens, rendering these lessons unusable. As such, we had a completely virtual, engaging
and interactive series of laboratories and physiology learning sessions that were completely unusable outside of the laboratory environment
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-47
Number of pages2
JournalPhysiology News
Issue number119
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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