Creating Impactful Student Experiences and Innovation Through Adaptive Learning and Virtual Reality

Concurrent Session 2

Brief Abstract

Combining new learning technology such as the virtual dissection table and adaptive learning can lead higher levels of student critical thinking and engagement.


Bio for Robert Hasel, DDS: Dr. Robert Hasel began his academic career in 1973 as a part time faculty at the University of Minnesota and full time in 2004 at A.T. Still Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health, ASDOH. Later, he was recruited to Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine to build the pre-clinical and clinical curriculum program. He was recruited by Stanford University School of Medicine in 2009 as a Visiting Scholar, to direct the pilot project of restructuring the curriculum in the Division of Clinical Anatomy, and help build new anatomy courses in Biomedical Engineering and Digital Anatomy. In 2012, Dr. Hasel joined Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine as Associate Dean of Simulation, Immersion and Digital Learning where he has directed the development of the integrated Clinical Sciences curriculum, flipped classroom environments utilizing the RealizeIT adaptive learning platform, and established VirtualU@WesternU, a global online platform of digital learning. Dr. Hasel’s latest project includes the development of the Virtual Reality Learning Center for teaching clinical anatomy.

Extended Abstract

The changing landscape of the learning environment and new student learner necessitates that educators reconsider traditional methods of curriculum delivery and adopt modern teaching and learning applications that are now abundantly available. Adaptive learning platforms encourage and nurture modern students' motivation and drive to interact with content in an engaging manner that is conducive to effective learning though a continual feedback loop.

In this session, a hybrid method of teaching the anatomical sciences through several technological applications will be showcased. Didactic content is delivered in a guided self-learning environment by way of RealizeIt, an adaptive learning online platform. "Hands on" virtual cadaver dissection is augmented by way of multiple virtualization interactive technologies. The participant will become familiar with the latest array of virtual technologies, such as the " interactive 3D anatomical models" application for the iPad, the "Anatomage Virtual Dissection Table", "zSpace 4D" displays, "Oculus Rift", all of which are being integrated to create a multi-faceted learning approach to the anatomical sciences at Western University. Students work in small groups through stations of learning activities and clinical cases in a peer-to-peer collaborative setting classroom environment that have direct application to the anatomical sciences. This multi-layered approach affords the learner a much deeper learning experience in preparation for the Integrated National Board Examination as this new and pending combined exam will include case based testlet questions that allow candidates the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge of the anatomic sciences from a clinical perspective.

The combination of online Adaptive learning and virtual reality technology is the next generation of a truly personalized learning experience, and offers a range of online courses, blended learning environments, remedial education, reinforcement education, and assessment based activities. These concepts can be successfully applied within all teaching scenarios and educational institutions.