Cita Nørgaard, Lotte Dyhrberg O'Neill, Kurt Gammelgaard Nielsen, Søren Juul, John Chemnitz

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


C. Nørgård, L. O’Neill, K.G. Nielsen, S.H. Juul, J. Chemnitz
University of Southern Denmark (DENMARK)
An Augmented Reality (AR) app for Hololens glasses was developed to help students learn the anatomy of the human body mediastinum. In this research project, we wanted to evaluate whether AR: strengthened the students’ self-efficacy and motivation, helped students to improve learning, and provided students with a good learning experience.

During class students circulated between different learning stations of 35 minutes duration each. The students at the mediastinum station were randomly divided into three groups. One group received traditional teaching with PowerPoint presentation of CT scans, while two groups studied CT scans via the AR app. One of the two AR groups complemented the AR app with quiz questions with automatic corrective feedback while the other AR group did not use the quiz questions.

In the AR system students saw a standardized body and selected CT scans presented at the correct spatial positions. The body could be stripped of structures (e.g. skin, the vascular system, etc.). The user could approach the body, circumvent it, study structures in details and see their concurrent presentation on the different CT scans.

Five days after the teaching session students completed a questionnaire regarding their self-efficacy and motivation, presence in the virtual room, experiences with Hololens teaching, and how they used the quizzes. In addition, students answered a test with the same 20 questions used in the app and three additional transfer questions new to students. Finally, students’ scores on the mediastinum questions in the exam 2 month later were collected to examine the long-term memory of content. Internal consistency was estimated for all measures. Correlations between measures were examined with a correlation matrix, and group differences were examined with one-way analysis of variance. Open answer survey responses were analysed for frequent themes, patterns, contradictions, and unexpected information.

The internal consistencies for measures ranged from 0.66-0.88. The effect size was large for the correlation between test and transfer item scores, and medium for the correlation between self-efficacy and motivation scores. Although the self-efficacy scores for one of the AR groups were significantly higher than for the traditional-teaching group (p= 0.033), there were no significant group differences in motivation, test, transfer or exam scores.

The qualitative analysis indicated that the quiz questions helped AR students to gain the spatial understanding. Students without quiz questions felt on their own and lacked feedback. Some students without access to quiz questions started to collaborate.

App design and learning design can be sharpened to facilitate deeper learning processes and further scaffolding of learners’ needs. Future goals are to include better interaction with the instructor and explanatory feedback rather than corrective feedback. The learning design should include precise introductions to app facilities, precise instructions for students’ preparations for AR teaching sessions, and instructions for use during lessons.

Based on this project we still think that AR has a legitimate status for further exploration as a learning resource for teaching anatomy in Higher Education.

Keywords: Higher Education, Augmented Reality, Hololens, Research Project, Anatomy.
Translated title of the contributionAt lære anatomi med Augmented Reality
Original languageEnglish
Publication date13. Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 13. Mar 2018
Event10th annual International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies - Palma De Mallorca, Palma, Spain
Duration: 2. Jul 20184. Jul 2018


Conference10th annual International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
LocationPalma De Mallorca
Internet address


  • Augmented Reality
  • Anatomy
  • CT-scan
  • hololens


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