A Virtual Learning Environment to Support Case-Based Learning in a Higher Education Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory Course.
An interactive 3D virtual lab for NC State University which has Katya the Virtual Lab Technician training the students, who then go on to identify and select the appropriate rat from the virtual 3D rats scampering in their cages and then conduct a dissection of the 3D Virtual rat as instructed.
Students enter into the virtual world in the “Conference Room”. Students are provided introductory information on the study and will be directed to the adjacent lab for “training”. Once trained, students will conduct the “treatment”.
Students will identify the control or experimental groups of rats and will inject the specified cages with the identified hormones.
At the end of their “study” a mix-up will occur with the labeling of the rats. The students will then need to “collect data” to determine which cage of rats received which treatment. Students will “collect data” by euthanizing the rats and performing a necropsy of each rat. Data collected will include a visual inspection (comparison) of endocrine organs, overall body weight records, and individual endocrine organ weights. Students will record and access their data on a moodle TM group wiki accessed through the laboratory “computer” found in the virtual world. Students will have the option to go back and review data either independently or collaboratively within the virtual environment.