Effectiveness of 3D Images of Anatomical Specimens Created with Mobile Applications in Allied Health Students' Anatomy Learning
Background and aim:
New technologies that encourage active learning are increasingly being used to supplement formal teaching and learning. We used mobile applications to construct 3-dimensional anatomical models of plastinated specimens in order to hasten the integration of contemporary technologies and actively involve the students in self-learning. The aim of this study is to assess the effectiveness of QR-coded 3D anatomical images created with mobile applications in improving allied healthcare students' anatomy learning experiences.
In order to construct the 3D models, photogrammetry is used. The iPhone was used to snap the overlapping images using the Polycam app. Following that, the images are run through a series of computer algorithms that identify markers in each picture and combine them to create an accurate and lifelike digital 3D model. The 3D models were then polished in Blender by removing any background or artefacts. The model was uploaded to Sketchfab to add labels. Then the images are linked with QR codes. Those QR codes are circulated to the students during the study.
Data on 219 participants was gathered from the Academic Year 2022 cohort of Allied Health Sciences. Students were given a pre-exposure questionnaire before the invention began. Then, participants had access to the QR-coded anatomical photographs. Later students were given a post-exposure questionnaire and a Webapp qualitative feedback form. The 3D images' QR-codes also made it possible to track the frequency of Webapp usage and the parts of gross anatomy on which students tend to concentrate.
From the pre-exposure questionnaire results, 83.1% of participants responded that they do not use the plastinated models made available for learning to students at the lab. Instead, majority reported using Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) lecture notes, anatomy websites, and web applications as their main sources of learning tools. 100% of participants agreed that an online 3D interactive tool of plastinated specimens allowing for multi-dimensional viewing would be helpful to their learning.
However, the post-exposure questionnaire reported that only 70% of participants used and incorporated the QR-coded 3D images into their learning, with only 52.5% of participants finding that it did help them to deepen their anatomy knowledge while 42.5% were neutral and the remaining 5% finding that this learning tool did not help them. Additionally, 75% of participants responded to continue using this learning tool. As a whole, QR-coded 3D images generated a positive response in enhancing the learning experience of students in Human Gross Anatomy modules.
Lastly, the qualitative feedback form revealed that the main objectives participants plan to use the Webapp is to have better understanding of anatomy and improve their grades and to do so with learning materials which are simple to use, easily accessible and access with real-life anatomy samples. Overall, 56.5% of participants rated the overall user experience between 7-9 on the scale, 34.8% between 4-6 and 8.7% between 1-3.
QR coded 3D images of platinated specimens created with mobile phone application enhanced the anatomy learning experience among the allied health science students.