At a Glance
At Lehigh Career & Technical Institute (LCTI), the cosmetology teacher used virtual reality to make a theory-heavy unit on human anatomy and physiology more engaging and approachable for students.
The LCTI cosmetology instructor wanted to find a way to better engage students during the human anatomy and physiology unit. They seemed to lose interest in the topic due to the large amount of complex theory they had to learn primarily through reading the textbook. To spark students’ interest and make the content more relevant, the instructor restructured the lesson so that it opened with a virtual reality experience. The students responded positively as they were able to explore human anatomy and physiology in an interactive manner before diving into the theory aspect of the lesson.
The cosmetology instructor created this lesson after attending a training session with the Academic Center Principal during an in-service. At the beginning of the unit, she used the virtual reality headsets already onsite at LCTI to explore what the human anatomy looks like from the inside out. (The instructional technology specialist was available for tech support as needed.) Students viewed videos about taking a trip through a blood vessel and going inside the human body. (To view the videos, see the links provided at the end of this profile.) In addition to the virtual reality experience, the teacher also incorporated more hands-on activities in the lesson such as building a human body using various materials to represent the different layers.
Because students were engaged in their learning, the instructor plans to continue utilizing the virtual reality headsets for the anatomy and physiology lesson every year. She will search for newer/updated videos to enhance learning. She would also like to incorporate the virtual reality headsets across multiple days or circle back and wrap up the lesson with virtual reality videos before the students take their unit test.
The virtual reality experience provided students an opportunity to gain an understanding of the human body that they may not have been able to gain from just reading a textbook. Students also seemed more engaged because the unit kicked off with a stimulating activity that activated their knowledge before they began the in-depth lesson.
Lehigh Career & Technical Institute
Kelly Cahoon, Instructional Coach
Heather Keck, Cosmetology Instructor