CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Nov. 1, 1999
UI-developed anatomy CD wins first prize in national
IOWA CITY, Iowa An interactive CD-ROM developed
at the University of Iowa for students studying the anatomy of the skull has
won first prize in a national competition for health science software.
"The Bones of the Skull: A 3-D Learning Tool,"
created by Marilyn Dispensa, formerly a graduate assistant at the UIs
Hardin Librarys Information Commons; Jim Duncan, head of the Information
Commons; and Jerry Moon, a UI associate professor of speech pathology and
audiology, was awarded first place in the Sandoz/Slice of Life Student Software
Development Competition. The award carries a $1,000 prize.
Dispensa produced the instructional product as part
of her masters project in instructional design and technology while
working at the Information Commons. Since graduating in December 1998 she
has worked at the UI as a programming specialist with ITS Academic Technologies.
A $5,000 Instructional Improvement Award from the UI Council on Teaching in
1998 funded equipment used to produce the CD-ROMs virtual reality anatomical
The CD provides a "multi-media, three-dimensional
virtual reality tutorial of the bones of the skull," Moon said, adding
that the skull CD will give professors a much-needed instructional resource
for enhancing their anatomy classes.
"Students are always looking for ways other than
the standard, flat textbook to learn about anatomy," Moon said. He said
students at the UI are fortunate to be able to study actual skulls provided
by the College of Medicines department of anatomy, but for students
at smaller colleges and universities without medical schools the CD will be
the next best thing.
Even for students who have seen and touched real skulls,
the CD will be "a valuable and portable study tool with tutorials and
drill questions in addition to the skull images," Moon said.
The CD will be available for Macintosh and Windows
and should be ready for distribution by spring 2000, Duncan said.
Organizers of the competition said the "instructional
design and use of innovative and new technology" gave "Bones of
the Skull" the edge over the other nine competitive submissions. "We
felt it showed faculty how to design things nicely and could provide good
ideas for others," said Suzanne S. Stensaas of the University of Utah,
who was one of the judges.
The Sandoz/Slice of Life Student Software Development
Competition was started with funding from Sandoz, a former pharmaceuticals
company, and the award has been made annually for the last 10 years at the
Slice of Life/Computers in Healthcare Education Symposium.