The Future with Extended Reality, Three-Dimensional, and Advanced Imaging for Molecules, Microscopy, and Anatomy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Modern visualization methods such as virtual microscopy, three-dimensional anatomy, and augmented or virtual reality technologies have transformed opportunities available to educators. The use of this technology has become ever more widespread, but there is not an abundance of evidence that visualizations improve test performance in students but instead enhance student engagement in their learning. These forms of visualization technologies and methods are well received by students through improved engagement with learning materials. This engagement comes from students spending more time concentrating on their work as visualizations allow them to interact with the subject matter through active learning. These benefits may enhance student understanding, but it is a challenge to measure this in genuine and authentic classroom scenarios. Visualization technologies do have the ability to reduce risk when working with hazardous subject matter, allow teaching using rare resources and materials, demonstrate three-dimensional relationships, and lower the cognitive load for students who struggle with dynamic biological processes. However, the use of these technologies is expensive and often requires specialist equipment and training to implement effectively, so they need far greater investment and pedagogic study to truly realize their potential. There is also a requirement to provide much greater access to the hardware and software required so that all students can benefit from these modern teaching methods as they are so reliant on technology for them to work at their best, especially in an ever-increasing online world and teaching environment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTechnologies in Biomedical and Life Sciences Education
Subtitle of host publicationApproaches and Evidence of Efficacy for Learning
EditorsHarry J. Witchel, Michael W. Lee
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages39
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-95633-2
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-95632-5
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2022


  • Visualization
  • Imaging
  • Extended reality
  • Microscopy
  • Anatomy
  • Education


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