gms | German Medical Science

Gemeinsame Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Medizinische Ausbildung (GMA) und des Arbeitskreises zur Weiterentwicklung der Lehre in der Zahnmedizin (AKWLZ)

30.09. - 03.10.2015, Leipzig

Virtual microscopy is effective in improving students’ knowledge in basic histology

Meeting Abstract

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Gemeinsame Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Medizinische Ausbildung (GMA) und des Arbeitskreises zur Weiterentwicklung der Lehre in der Zahnmedizin (AKWLZ). Leipzig, 30.09.-03.10.2015. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2015. DocP1-018

doi: 10.3205/15gma207, urn:nbn:de:0183-15gma2073

Veröffentlicht: 31. August 2015

© 2015 Wassermann et al.
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Fragestellung/Einleitung: Histology is the basis for understanding of most pathogenetic concepts and is therefore an essential part in the anatomy education of most medical curricula. At the University Medical Centre in Hamburg-Eppendorf, students learn histology in practical courses by analysing tissue sections microscopically. Due to logistic constraints there is no space for self-guided practicing at our institute. Virtual microscopy is a method to support students with an option to gain practice. However, whether virtual microscopy is effective in supporting students to achieve their learning objectives has not yet been investigated in a controlled fashion. We have established a virtual microscope for our students and have analysed its acceptance and its effects on learning outcome in a controlled study in our course for basic histology.

Methoden: We have established a virtual microscope for histological specimens that are used for teaching in our basic histology course. Learning objectives are the understanding of composition, texture and function of the basic tissues such as epithelia as well as connective, muscle and nerve tissues. We have provided students with the option to study only specimens of epithelia and connective tissue in our virtual microscope. At the end of the course, the students’ factual knowledge of all four tissues was quantified using a written test with multiple choice questions (MCQ). Furthermore, we have evaluated the students’ opinion of the virtual microscope.

Ergebnisse: Students generally felt that the virtual microscope was easy to handle and that it was helpful in understanding histology and to recognize the relevant structures. Major complaints were that there were too few specimens available and that there was no annotation of structures within the specimens. In our MCQ exam the students achieved higher scores in questions regarding epithelia and connective tissues than in those for muscle and nerve tissues.

Diskussion/Schlussfolgerung: Virtual microscopy is a method for self-guided training of diagnostic skills. Although the virtual microscope was devoid of theoretical facts, it supported students in a better understanding of histological concepts. Thus, virtual microscopy complements the practical course of histology and improves the students’ achievement of their learning objectives.