The School of Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology offers a diverse range of student research topics.
The nature of university teaching is changing radically. Increasing numbers of students, casualization of the teaching staff, development of new technology and software, social media, changes in student behaviour and expectations all provide new challenges and opportunities. In UWA a radical overhaul of courses reflects some of these changes. A few prestigious US universities now provide free online access to their lectures.
This project would involve the study of current teaching methods and the new student intake. Investigation of new technology, its usefulness and its impact on education (from mobile phones to ipads, “clickers” 3D TV, virtual worlds, animations, plastination etc. etc.) It could involve the analysis of examination results for statistical correlations with examination methods, the development of new teaching material and the adaptation and assessment of new teaching methods in human anatomy.
Honours, Masters, PhD
For Honours: An appropriate undergraduate degree with a minimum weighted average of 65% in the level 3 subjects that comprise the relevant major, from an approved institution. Applicants will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
For Masters or PhD: An appropriate Honours degree or equivalent research experience from an approved institution. Applicants will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
I have a small grant to construct a virtual copy of the school of Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology in the 3D world Second Life.
This is an experimental space in which to investigate the use of a 3D environment for the teaching of anatomy – which is all about 3D structures and the appreciation of 3D relationships.
The project would involve constructing 3D objects using cameras and software to import in to the virtual environment and working out how these could be used in science and preclinical education.
For Honours:Some second and/or third year units in human anatomy and physiology
For Masters or PhD: A biomedical/education background.
These projects are suitable for students interested in entering a career in science communication and/or science education. They focus on creating virtual environments and educational animations for image intensive disciplines – coupled with modern pedagogy. An understanding of the histology of the human body would be useful – but not essential. No previous computing knowledge/skills is needed.
Book publishers must use images selectively as publishing in these disciplines becomes unacceptably expensive as more colour plates are used. In the e-learning environment, the full power of digital images is employed and the “picture is worth a thousand words” truism used to full effect to create more appealing and compelling learning environments students now demand.
I have developed an award winning learning system for image intensive disciplines that facilitates learning preferences of students consistent with their more intensive use of computers and the internet. I have demonstrated that creating virtual environments and animations and integrating explanatory content in the learning system provides extremely powerful learning tools that have a major impact on qualities of learning outcomes achieved by students accessing e-learning.
Based on this initial success there is an opportunity to create biological structures that can be studied within virtual environments whereby we are able to generate computer aided visualisation of microscopic structures in 3 dimensions with accompanying explanatory sound features and animations to simulate functions of structures presented. Research into the consequent educational values of these innovations then can be initiated.