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BMC Medical Education

, 16:311

Approaches to teaching and learning


BackgroundStudents in biomedical disciplines require understanding of normal and abnormal microscopic appearances of human tissues histology and histopathology. For this purpose, practical classes in these disciplines typically use virtual microscopy, viewing digitised whole slide images in web browsers. To enhance engagement, tools have been developed to enable individual or collaborative annotation of whole slide images within web browsers. To date, there have been no studies that have critically compared the impact on learning of individual and collaborative annotations on whole slide images.

MethodsJunior and senior students engaged in Pathology practical classes within Medical Science and Medicine programs participated in cross-over trials of individual and collaborative annotation activities. Students’ understanding of microscopic morphology was compared using timed online quizzes, while students’ perceptions of learning were evaluated using an online questionnaire.

ResultsFor senior medical students, collaborative annotation of whole slide images was superior for understanding key microscopic features when compared to individual annotation; whilst being at least equivalent to individual annotation for junior medical science students. Across cohorts, students agreed that the annotation activities provided a user-friendly learning environment that met their flexible learning needs, improved efficiency, provided useful feedback, and helped them to set learning priorities. Importantly, these activities were also perceived to enhance motivation and improve understanding.

ConclusionCollaborative annotation improves understanding of microscopic morphology for students with sufficient background understanding of the discipline. These findings have implications for the deployment of annotation activities in biomedical curricula, and potentially for postgraduate training in Anatomical Pathology.

KeywordsCollaborative learning Virtual microscopy Annotation eLearning AbbreviationsAeLPAdaptive eLearning Platform

BESTBiomedical Education Skills and Training

CIConfidence interval

CSCLComputer-supported collaborative learning

IQRInterquartile range

LMLight microscopy

UNSWUniversity of New South Wales

VMVirtual microscopy

WSIWhole slide image

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-s12909-016-0831-x contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Michael Sahota - Betty Leung - Stephanie Dowdell - Gary M. Velan

Fuente: https://link.springer.com/

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