Development Projects

The Digital Learning Hub harnesses its local expertise in 3D animation and software design, together with the talented academic staff of the School of Biomedical Sciences, to produce innovative digital learning tools. Some of our current projects include:

An image of the Virtual Reality Human Heart application

The Virtual Reality Human Heart is an application we built ourselves in the Digital Learning Hub. It enables students to do something that is impossible without VR- hold a beating human heart in their hand. You can make parts of the heart clear to see inside, and even make it huge to put your head inside it! We are building guided learning activities appropriate to all year levels of biology, Physiology, and Anatomy, and so far thousands of students have enjoyed using the app. In collaboration with the Department of Physiology.

The Virtual Knee Exam enables students in virtual reality to explore the underlying anatomy and biomechanics of this complex joint. While conducting an exam on a virtual patient, VR enables students to see inside the knee, and understand why certain tests check the structure and stability of underlying ligaments, normally not visible when using a live patient. In collaboration with the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience.

Image depicting a knee in the modelling software Blender

Interactive Biochemistry is an online interactive tool which enables students to understand how charges affect the shape of proteins, how pH affects protein charges, and more. In collaboration with the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Campfire is a virtual collaborative space suited for object-based learning. Through VR solutions, students and educators move beyond the classroom into a globally accessible shared space hosting 3D models and animations, re-enacted scenarios, environments, or even seminars into a virtual space that can be explored and manipulated by the participants. Picture a virtual room with students, educators, researchers, and experts from across the world interacting through avatars. In the centre is a 3D object- an ancient artefact, a patient's CT scan data, an enlarged microchip, or a microorganism. Or the users become immersed in a complete environment- a forensic recreation, an archaeological site, a theatrical re-enactment, or a scenario-based interaction. A cardiologist from Harvard Medical School can use a beating human heart model to teach a new procedure to students in Melbourne, Istanbul, and Shepparton; a student in Melbourne can present a space they designed and be assessed with feedback from experts. Campfire enables collaborative and social learning not through a webcam video or chat box, but tangible spatial interaction in a virtual environment. In collaboration with the Faculty of Arts Digital Studio, Arts Teaching Innovation, eLearning, the UoM Library Scholarly Services, and Melbourne School of Graduate Education.