O&P students at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), Burnaby, are benefiting from a new initiative that provides students with three-dimensional simulators of the human knee, allowing them to explore minute anatomical details without a cadaver, using just a laptop or other mobile device. The simulator, which is accessible 24 hours a day, allows students to see the effects of various injuries, disassemble the knee, re-assemble it, and cross-section it using laptops, tablets, and other new communication devices. According to The Burnaby News Leader, students can even watch what happens to a knee when an orthosis is placed too high or low on the leg.
“Over the next two years, we expect 3D simulation instruction to become mainstream at BCIT,” said Chris Golding, vice president of learning and technology services at BCIT. “It will provide the institution with the ability to meet the changing expectations of the new generation of learners who are digitally connected and who view 3D virtual learning environments as natural extensions to their education.”
“By delivering 3D-enabled course materials directly to instructor and student laptops, knowledge can be delivered in the context of what the student is doing and seeing at that very moment. It’s a valuable supplement to the instructions our students are receiving from our faculty in classrooms, shops, and labs,” he added.
The initiative, called The CUBE, was launched on November 5, and currently benefits students in a variety of programs. Besides the knee simulators, it also provides jet-engine simulators to students in the aircraft maintenance-engineering program, and has provided a boxcar simulator to another program. The project was funded with a US$1 million grant from Lockheed Martin, Bethesda, Maryland, and a contribution of $380,000 in software from NGRAIN, Vancouver, British Columbia.