Cross-discipline teaching and learning of cardiology through an augmented reality application

Chooi Yeng Lee, Kevin Moffat, Philippa Harris, Irwyn A. Shepherd, Paul McIntosh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Undergraduate health sciences and health professional degree programs introduce students to common heart diseases and associated treatments, including atrial fibrillation (AF). Our students, second-year biomedical science and pharmacy students, through formal and informal feedback of their learning experience with cardiology, noted AF as the most difficult to comprehend. The learning challenges include electrophysiology and pharmacology aspects of AF. This study, therefore, aims to investigate the potential use of augmented reality (AR) to enhance students’ engagement and understanding of AF.

Based upon students’ feedback, and guided by the learning outcomes of our degree programs, we developed an AR application (App) to teach AF, covering general as well as discipline-specific learning content. The development was done through an iterative process, grounded in the constructivist learning theories. A survey consisting of 13 Likert-scale questions and an open-ended question formulated around user interface principles was conducted to gather students’ feedback of the App.

Thirteen percent of pharmacy students (n=21) and twenty-two percent of biomedical science students (n=27) responded to the anonymous and voluntary survey. Student responses to the survey were largely positive, including the areas related to engagement, novelty, realism, learning, and enjoyment.

This study shows that AR technology has enhanced students’ engagement as well as perception of understanding of AF, specifically in the areas that students find difficult. This authentic learning tool has successfully addressed some of the learning challenges raised by students of both disciplines. Students’ positive feedback suggests that a carefully designed AR App, guided by learning theories, is a suitable and viable option to improve students’ understanding of complex subjects, apart from making learning immersive and engaging.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Healthcare Simulation
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Nov 2023

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