The University of Michigan NGI Visible Human Project


Quarterly Report

2Q Y1



































June 25, 2000
             Brian D. Athey, Ph.D.
    Project Director







The Visible Human Project
Applications and User Interaction Group

Quarterly Report

June 29, 2000

Carl Berger


Goals for the Second quarter: Three goals were set for the second quarter of the Visible Human Project, Applications and User Interaction Group


  1. Continue focus group sessions of faculty and students
  2. Develop rubric for focus group data
  3. Gather and test tools



Progress: Initial Action Items Completed

Focus group sessions of faculty and students:

Surgical residents, medical, dental and nursing students

Surgical, medical, dental and nursing faculty

Rubric for focus session data


Sample Focus Sessions

Student Reaction

Instructor Interaction

Instructional Design Interaction




Additional items

Started relation with application team

Began feedback to UMVH Web design

Adapted internal communication tool, “Visible Verities”



Findings from literature that inform design process

Qualitative responses from faculty and students in

Gross Anatomy





Difficulties in Anatomy learning

1.     Reviewed literature on “Problem Based Learning in Health Care”

2.    Discussion with Anatomy Faculty

3.    Discussion with Nursing and Kinesiology Faculty



Faculty concerns about student learning in anatomy classes:
Course Goals

1.     Students need to know where things are, and how they are related

2.    Students need to develop a mindset toward integration of knowledge for later academic and career use

3.    We need to use cases to motivate dissection, lectures, and book work

4.    We can build on the developed “quiz cards” to help develop learning


Summary of Major Student Difficulties

1.     Mapping from 2D to 3D (e.g. relationship of radiographs to actual anatomy)

2.    Moving from regional to systemic understanding

3.    Spatial visualization of symmetry and reflection

4.    May have to wait for M3, M4 (or later!) to see results...


Summary of Major Student Difficulties

1.     Initiation into Dental, Medical or Nursing School

2.    Learning how to study

3.    Moving from instance to whole understanding

4.    Spatial visualization

5.    Moving from 2D to 3D

6.    Reducing amount of disparate sources

7.    Understanding case and clinical problems from basic anatomy

8.    Doing better on the exams



  1. Need to strengthen interaction and relationship with other VH teams
  2. Need to develop better in-project communication tools
  3. Need to develop early prototypes without “locking” features, requirements
  4. Need to determine how we will handle the logistics of computers in gross anatomy labs

Further Actions

  1. We are developing an action plan to convert focus session data into user requirements
  2. We have further found that content must drive the technology, not the reverse
  3. We hope to identify user requirements
  4. Then those requirements will be used to develop prototype user interface
  5. Base the design and content of the user interface on that which is most difficult for students
  6. We need to determine relation of cognitive flexibility, goal based scenarios and problem based learning to various parts of VH


Goals for the third quarter

  1. Develop prototype requirements for applications group
  2. Internal test of current user interfaces (Edgewarp, browsers, etc)
  3. Provide initial specs for modules
  4. Develop prototype navigation maps
  5. Develop criteria for question development
  6. Develop integrated data gathering from interfaces
  7. Synthesize requirements from focus groups, literature review and initial testing
  8. Drive effort for a rough prototype of user interfaces (Faculty, Students, Designers)
  9. Work with other teams to develop rough prototype of content and process of elements behind the interfaces.