Virtual and augmented reality technologies are being used as an important learning tool for University of Queensland dental students, who are trained with 3D headsets before working on real-life clients.
Dr. Sobia Zafar From the Digital Dentistry Group at UQ’s School of Dentistry It says technology-enhanced learning has transformed the experience of more than 400 students over the past four years.
“Training dental students is a complex process as it requires fine motor skills as well as hand-foot-eye coordination,” said Dr. Zafar.
“Demo courses were put in place to ensure a smooth transition into clinics, but 87 percent of students said they felt they needed additional training before putting them into real life.
“That’s why extra for students, We decided to incorporate both virtual and augmented reality technologies into our classes to provide immersive training.
“Virtual reality allows students to practice in a safe environment, correct mistakes and improve their confidence before entering the clinic to treat real clients.”
When wearing a virtual reality headset, students interact with 3D holographic images that allow them to see through the skin to explore the human body, particularly parts relevant to their study, such as head and neck anatomy.
With augmented reality technology, students wear headsets and embedded sensors, navigate a virtual dental clinic and simulate their movements by interacting with a virtual patient.
Students can also practice administering anesthetic through software co-developed by Dr Zafar and Dr Jessica Zachar.
Their dedication to student development was recognized by UQ’s commendation. Teaching and Learning (T&L) week Awards.
Dr. Zacha said. The group’s mission is to provide learning environments that inspire students to become holistic health professionals.
“These digital learning tools help students maximize their potential and expand their knowledge in dental trauma management, dental anatomy and anesthesia management,” said Dr. Zachar.
“We want to provide students with the best healthcare and establish them as leaders in the workplace and local community.
“It’s great to be recognized for our work at this year’s Teaching and Learning Awards.
“This learning style is not limited to dentistry alone, so we hope it inspires other health professionals to consider digital innovative learning.”
Media: UQ Communications; Bridget Druery; [email protected]+61 (0)435 221 246.