Kevin T. Patton and
Gary A. Thibodeau
Insights from the authors . . .
Clear View of the Human Body
If you are using any of my textbooks in your A&P course, you have probably already seen the nifty Clear View of the Human Body . . . a set of opaque and transparent overlays that allow you to peel away layers of the body in a sort of virtual dissection.
The essential thing to remember about the Clear View is
A lot of students look at it when they first get the book and are thumbing through the pages marveling at all the interesting artwork and photos (and trying to size up how interesting or difficult the course may be). But as they get involved in the learning process, many students forget that the Clear View is there . . . and miss out on using this valuable tool.
Why use the Clear View? It's a great way to develop the concept of the spatial relationships of the body . . . that is, how all the organs "fit together."
The typical anatomical illustration gives a rather flat view of body structures. The Clear View lets users peel away layer after layer, showing the anterior structures, then deeper structures, moving finally to the posterior structures. Then it reverses the direction, and takes users from posterior, to deep, to anterior! Because each layer is partly transparent and partly opaque (not transparent), students are able to see both organs on the layer one is looking at, and some of the organs in deeper layers.
The best way to use the Clear View is to play with it regularly. It's fun . . . so encourage your students to go ahead and play! By doing so after or during their study of every chapter, they'll soon become very familiar with the 3-dimensional nature of the body.
Of course, dissecting fresh cadavers again and again throughout one's studies would be a better way to achieve an understanding of how all the body parts fit together. But the Clear View isn't a bad alternative!
Check out this short (6-minute) movie clip showing the Clear View:
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