The Explanimated Textbook

Fall 2016
What I did
  • Content Design
  • Illustration
  • Animation
  • Interactivity (Hype & iBooks Author)
The Situation

For my master's thesis, I sought to create a learning tool for students taking anatomy and physiology courses. Based on my conversations with students, research on available learning tools, and experience taking these courses, I realized that perhaps the aspect of learning anatomy and physiology that seemed to need the most improvement, or modernization, was textbooks. To high school and college students, textbooks tend to have a negative connotation of being boring or tedious and therefore often get underutilized.

The Solution

I created three different concepts in the form of an iBook. It was designed for a student seeing the material for the first or second time, since this is typically the role of the textbook, but is something that's lacking in apps students may try to use as a textbook replacement. I also incorporated study tools, such as quizzing, that students and educational researchers both agree aid in the learning process. The Explanimated Textbook explores how a modern animated and interactive revamp of the traditional textbook can enhance learning.

This is the first page of the section on skeletal muscle contraction. It shows what is happening at different levels of magnification during a muscle contraction. By seeing each level on the same page, learners can "connect the dots" and get a more comprehensive understanding of the material.

This page demonstrates how a nerve signals to a muscle to contract.

In iBooks, the dotted line boxes can be tapped to zoom into that area. Terms in blue can be tapped to access the definition in the glossary (not pictured).

Zooming further in to the microscopic components of a muscle, this page shows how a muscle unit contracts.

All of the labels can be hidden and revealed by tapping on the label line or by using the buttons in the lower left corner. This feature is designed as a study tool for learners to quiz themselves on the anatomical terms.

Your bones need oxygen and nutrients just like the rest of your body. But how do oxygen and nutrients get inside something as compact as a bone? These pages explain this phenomenon. Each page shows the anatatomical structures at progressively microscopic levels so students can visualize and comprehend how it works.

In iBooks, the learner can drag the wheel with their finger to highlight the path of blood through the body at their own pace.

More Work

© Megan Friesth 2019