Thursday, November 09, 2006

Knee Replacement Surgery can be Fun!

A colleague of mine (actually he’s my boss… thanks Mark!!!), turned me on to this cool website by EdHeads which shows a virtual knee replacement surgery. It’s a Flash driven application that does a remarkably good job at giving the user a chance to experience the process of being an assistant orthopedic surgeon. I’ve gone through it and afterwards I have a much greater appreciation for how the process is actually done. When I put my Instructional Designer Hat on, I conclude that this piece of educational material is well constructed.

Here are some of the aspects I think they did well on:
  1. Navigational instructions are clear and intuitive and there is a sitemap so you can navigate quickly to a specific point in the activity if you are revisiting it.

  2. The use of audio augmented the use of the Flash animation. Clearly the audio was integral to the presentation. For hearing impaired students, the user can toggle subtitles for the presentation.

  3. Use of a cartoon character, in this case the surgeon, guides the user through all the steps really adds realism and humanism to the process.

  4. Each time the surgeon gives verbal instructions that require the user to perform an action a small textbox appears re-iterating the statement with text.

  5. The overall goal of the process is well known: total knee replacement.

  6. The objectives at every step of the process are presented, verbally.

  7. There are nine integrated multiple-choice questions at various points in the procedure. The questions directly target the task currently being performed and provide quick feedback.

  8. There are interactive steps that the use must take: e.g. writing initials on leg, washing leg, drilling bone, moving leg, etc.

  9. I like the associated image bank of real life knee surgery photos.

  10. The Teachers Guide is useful at showing the teacher what grade levels this material is geared towards as well as giving the correct answers to all the multiple-choice questions in the activity. It also points teachers to follow-up activities.

Here are some of the aspects I think they could improve upon:
  1. The feedback on multiple-choice is sparse. Most times all the user gets is a no/nope or fantastic/great comments. Elaborating on why the correct or incorrect answer was chosen by the user might help reinforce the concept being tested.

  2. In some cases, students can skip to the next step without successfully completing the last step. In my view, if your striving for some realism, every step should be completed successfully before moving on. However, this is just my view (*smile*)

Overall, I think this is a great learning activity. (If you have other pros and cons to contribute then please add your items by leaving a comment below.) EdHeads has developed other similar educational activities. Their Total Hip Replacement activity and the Weather Prediction activity are worth investigating as well. Have fun!

1 comment:

viagra online said...

I had a knee replacement surgery not so long ago, and I don't think it was fun at all. Anyway, at least I'm fine again