Creating a 3D Learning Tool for the Growth and Development of the Craniofacial Skeleton

  • Leyan Khayruddeen
  • Daniel Livingstone
  • Eilidh FergusonEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1138)


Advances in technology are facilitating wider access to delicate, and often irreplaceable, anatomy specimens for teaching. Moreover, 3-dimensional (3D) models and interactive applications may help students to understand the spatial arrangement of complex 3D anatomical structures in a way not afforded by the 2-dimensional (2D) textbook images of traditional teaching.

Historical specimens from the University of Glasgow’s Museum of Anatomy were digitised for the creation of a 3D learning tool to help students better understand the growth and development of the juvenile skull. The overarching goal of this project was to assess whether interactive 3D applications can provide a useful tool for teaching more complex, non-static, anatomy subjects such as growth and development.

The application received positive feedback from the small test group of 12 anatomy students. The majority of participants strongly agreed that the application helped them learn more about the human skull and they positively rated the use of 3D models in helping them learn about the position and structure of anatomical features, and in comparing skulls at different stages of development. Following on from this positive feedback, further tests could be conducted to assess if this 3D application confers an advantage in student learning over traditional teaching methods.


Anatomy Medical education Digital visualization 3D models Interactive learning application 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leyan Khayruddeen
    • 3
  • Daniel Livingstone
    • 2
  • Eilidh Ferguson
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Anatomy Facility, School of Life Sciences, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life SciencesUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK
  2. 2.School of Simulation and VisualisationGlasgow School of ArtGlasgowUK
  3. 3.Anatomy Facility, College of Medical and NursingTaibah UniversityMadinahSaudi Arabia

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