Developing and providing 3D medical educational materials

Research Outline

One function of a university is to produce excellent human talent. Development of educational materials utilizing high levels of ICT, introducing use of these materials into classes and enabling autonomous learning on and off campus thus encouraging cooperative learning is essential. For this reason, ICER was established in April 2011.

When developing high quality, highly effective educational materials which can be used in actual lessons, cooperation from the faculty and students involved is essential.

The purpose of this application research is: while focusing on the field of medicine, with the cooperation of the School of Medicine's faculty and students, to develop digital educational material using 3D Computer Graphics etc. and to make a model case of how to best develop and provide these educational materials.

This model case can then be used to prove the model and then be used again throughout the university.

Specifically, we aim to accomplish:

  • 1) 3D educational materials development and provision system
  • 2) educational materials provision system
  • 3) confirm the educational material development process
  • 4) verification method for proving the effectiveness of the educational materials.
  • Our 4 main goals.

In future, by incorporating the results of this application research into other faculty development projects, it will be possible to push forward the strengthening of educational materials across the whole University.

Research Aims

  1. Research academic background
  2. Prior to the establishment if ICER, each individual faculty/department, would support the activities of it's faculty members independently, utilizing the campus support system and educational GP; Research Institute for Information Technology, the Research Center for Education in Health Care System.

    Use of ICT etc. for development of educational method and textbooks was carried out by each organization separately. So in April 2011, ICER was established to improve and speed up the sharing of accumulated knowledge, techniques and activities.

    ICERs main aim is to develop new digital educational materials incorporating use of high level ICT. By making this educational material available to learners, facilitate autonomous learning both on and off campus, thus encouraging cooperative learning. Specific activities include, the development of interactive teaching materials that utilize the latest ICT technology.

    To achieve this we need to train staff, strengthen relationships with departments, faculties, make the educational material available on/off campus, and create a cooperative, sharing, learning environment by applying the likes of SNS(Social Networking Service).

    For management of 'what educational material is offered', and 'to whom it is offered to' we are publishing a copyright management system.

    In medical education, to understand the structure and function of the human body in both healthy or disease state, from macroscopic to microscopic; understanding of the molecular areas underlying 3D structure and functions is important. As 3D image diagnosis is common practice, it is a subject ideally suited to the development of 3D educational material using ICT. However, this kind of educational material development requires the latest ICT knowledge and skills, for the medical area to develop this alone is difficult. For these reasons it is ideally suited to ICER cooperative implementation.

    To develop educational materials that can actually be used and be effective in class, we need to:

    • Develop materials using 3D and ICT.
    • Develope educational materials that are suitable for purpose.
    • Propose teaching materials that are suitable for the class progress.

    Reflecting the opinions of faculty and students, will let us improve the quality of the educational materials, establish a process for educational material development and a method to enable us to measure the way educational materials are used and measure their effectiveness. To that end, cooperation of the faculty and students who will be involved in the classes is essential.

    In addition, as the contents of lessons and their progress varies per class, to scale up the system that we are creating over the whole University, would be too large, so we will establish a model case which can be applied to specific education fields.

    So this projects aim was to take the medical field as our initial subject, create 3D educational materials and an educational material creation system then evaluate their effectiveness. Using the results, we expected to be able to implement this system over the whole University.

  3. During the research period, what did we hope to clarify and to what extent?
  4. In this research project, we focused on the field of medical education:
    • 1) 3D educational materials development and provision system.
    • 2) Educational materials provision system.
    • 3) Confirm the educational material development process.
    • 4) Verification method for proving the effectiveness of the educational materials.

    Our 4 main goals.

    1)3D educational materials development and provision system.
    We will put into practice development of 3D CG etc. digital educational material in the medical field working with Hospital faculty and Department of medicine students.

    Through this practical development, we will accumulate digital educational material development know-how, copyright management know-how, and build an educational material development system. Especially for subject field we have chosen, we will understand what type of 3D educational material is most suitable, and what kind of development tools are most effective. Further, through publicity activities, and by listing a description of the 3D tool we are creating, listing the project developers' names on the publicity homepage, in workshops etc. We can recruit cooperation of faculty members and students.

    2)Educational materials provision system.
    Lesson contents and the way the class progresses, differ depending on the lecturer, we have to consider the use and the way the tool will be provided to students. With Hospital area faculty and medical department students' cooperation, actually doing lessons in a wireless LAN environment using various types of mobile terminals, we can establish the problems and on solving these problems we will develop a digital educational materials provision system.

    3)Confirm the educational material development process.
    To develop highly effective educational materials, it can be considered insufficient for faculty to develop content unilaterally. The ideal situation has educational material created which reflects students' opinion. We will establish a system where students who have taken a class and used the educational material, can express their opinion/give feedback and then using this feedback, we can refine the educational material. We will establish a development environment that allows students to engage in the creation of digital educational materials themselves.

    4)Verification method for proving the effectiveness of the educational materials.
    Verification of the effectiveness of educational materials in classes is important. We use the attendance rate or exam marks change for quantitative evaluation. And have faculty members・students who have used the educational materials in class complete questionnaires, to measure qualitative evaluation of effectiveness.
    Through these evaluations, we will establish an educational effectiveness verification method. Further, we will verify when using 3D educational material, 'what kind of educational techniques are required' and 'in what kind of subjects does material yield better results'.
    In addition, we will measure the cost effectiveness of the educational material by recording the amount of people, and time required during development (development cost) against the produced results.

  5. The academic features, creative points, expected results, and significance of research in this field
  6. In the field of entertainment e.g. video games and movies, 3D contents are being actively used for content development. However in the field of education, currently ICT technology is not used extensively in development of educational material.

    Practical use of digital educational material that utilizes high level 3D ICT etc. is important for improving the quality of education and results. Application of this research, particularly the application of the 3D digital educational materials in the medical field is significant as it contributes to improving education and improving results. In addition, the 'development and provision of the system' for 3D educational material and other such digital educational materials is our main goal.

    Use of this type of system is creative and not found in many other universities. The results of this research application, as a model case study for the development and practical use of other digital educational materials in other faculties is extremely important.