The overall aim of the collaboration is to enhance the student experience within the department with the effective use of technology. We hope this will have an impact on attracting new students to the Orthoptics course and produce a more stimulating and innovative teaching experience for existing undergraduates.
During an Orthoptics post application visit day event in February pen drives were distributed which contained a variety of files and resources highlighting the enhanced learning experience offered at Liverpool. Prospective students will be able to view a video advert, an eye test flash animation, a recent range of photographs taken in the Orthoptics lab (some of the images displayed in this post) and a presentation which contains interviews with current students and alumni from the course.
The interactive animations currently being developed will allow students to practise and simulate the range of tests performed to detect a wide variety of eye defects and conditions. Some of the conditions can be quite rare so a student may never have an opportunity for the real life testing experience during placements. The animations will assist a student in refining their core skills and becoming familiar with rarer conditions.
The animations have been designed in consultation with Dr Anna O’Connor who approached the eLearning Unit for support after seeing a range of oncological surgery animations produced for a postgraduate module. A test version of the Orthoptics animation is available here. The resource is still under development but this version should give an indication of the range of interaction and functionality aimed for.
Future plans include potential extra funding to support the production of more advanced animations, 3D eye modelling creation and a NHS bid to fund the purchase of a suite of tablets which will help to enhance undergraduate student placements.
The resources produced could become commercially viable as the planned functionality would be unique in the HE sector. At the moment there are only a few resources publically available such as this website which simulates eye motion and demonstrates the effects of disabling one or more of the eyes muscles and one or more of the cranial nerves that control eye motion. However, resources like this only highlight a few elements of the eye movement disorders and do not completely reflect a true clinical picture. Any online resources produced at Liverpool would be a welcome addition to the current material available supporting academic staff and undergraduate students.
If you are interested in further details about these developments or if you would like to share an idea, request support or ask a related question please get in touch with the eLearning Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Photographs by Phil Walker)
Here are some further images captured by the eLearning Unit, in the Orthoptics lab on the Liverpool campus, which will be used as the background for future interactive animations.