Using 3D animations in teaching

You know sometimes when you start a new job and you always hear about some great work that’s been taking place in parts of the University? Well this post is about one such project – Dr. Anna O’Connor’s 3D Eye Animations for the teaching of eye movement disorders in our Orthoptics department. What’s even better, is that they’re openly available on the web – #UKOER.

Rather than me tell you about it, Anna and her students have provided me with some brief text…


From Anna…

3D concepts, such as eye movement disorders, are difficult to explain and visualise from 2D static images. That’s why we were very excited about the opportunity to work with the elearning unit to develop a series of eye animations showing eye movement disorders. These animations will be an invaluable resource, which students can access to support their learning at university, and to reinforce their learning while on clinical placement at hospitals around the UK. They are freely available for anyone interested, whether a student, patient, clinician or teacher. We started with normal eye movements which were a big hit, being accessed by over 2,000 people around the world in the first year. Now we want to let everyone know about the new developments. Huge thanks go to the elearning unit and Scott Dingwall for creating these amazing animations.

From the Students…

As Student Orthoptists, it is very important for us to know about different conditions that effect the muscles of the eyes and what problems can occur when these muscles stop working properly. When it comes to revision and studying, it can sometimes be quite difficult to visualise what happens to the eyes with certain conditions. These animations show how the 6 muscles around the eye (known as the extra ocular muscles or EOM’s) act when certain conditions occur – such as Duane’s retraction syndrome, Brown’s syndrome and nerve palsies – where the innervation to the muscle is not working.

The eye animations really are the next best thing to having a real patient in front of you! They are easy, quick and simple to use and it allows you to see the action of the muscles in all 9 positions of gaze in different conditions.


So there you are. Another great project taking place at Liverpool. I think it’s wonderful that they’ve managed to get a development like this together with a limited budget – the skills required to develop these 3D animations are not everyday skills so massive pat on the back for Scott, as well as for Anna to have the vision (no pun intended) to see the value in this. And even nicer to see students are appreciating it.

Feel free to head over to the eye animations to have a play and you can follow Anna on Twitter (@Drannoc).

Peter

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