In light of the above, we have created a digitalised library of all slides used in histology teaching, and is currently available to all students. In this pilot project, we aim to explore the pedagogical benefits of a digital histology resource with special emphasis on the first year BVMSc students’ learning and engagement with the course material. Furthermore, in one of the sessions a traditional histology laboratory session was replaced by team based learning (TBL) approach and utilised computer spaces designed to accommodate 170 students.
In order to successfully implement the innovative use of digital histology, we have created a database that allow all students to access this resource remotely from anywhere. Furthermore, all slides are integrated within our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). With the introduction of this resource, students are now able to use their laptops/tablets alongside microscopes in the laboratory as well as outside lab at their leisure. Full support is available to students in the form of training, step-by step instruction, and software installation.
Feedback from the students (n=139/170 students) was recorded at the end of the course through a questionnaire with Likert-type scale and open-ended questions. Initial responses received through feedback has indicated that provision of digital resource has enabled our students to gain more control over their contents and effectively work in a collaborative manner. 87% of the students either agree or strongly agree that web-based image viewing software is easy to use and access. However, 28% do not find digital slides more engaging than light microscope. Our research will investigate that particular group of students and will reflect upon way to create a virtual learning space with digital slides more engaging.
Preliminary results, including qualitative analysis from the responses to the open-ended questions, will be presented at the conference.
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Kogan, L., Dowers, K., Cerda, J., Schoenfeld-Tacher, R. and Stewart, S. (2014). Virtual Microscopy: A Useful Tool for Meeting Evolving Challenges in the Veterinary Medical Curriculum. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 23(6), pp.756-762.
Merk, M., Knuechel, R. and Perez-Bouza, A. (2010). Web-based virtual microscopy at the RWTH Aachen University: Didactic concept, methods and analysis of acceptance by the students. Annals of Anatomy – Anatomischer Anzeiger, 192(6), pp.383-387.