Five Reasons to Digitize Your Pathology Education
University of Turku recently selected their Mouse Histology Course as the Course of the Year in 2016. This online course was arranged in collaboration between multiple universities in the Nordic countries and it used WebMicroscope as a platform. The justification for the recognition to the course was:
“The course is a great example of developing digital learning, international collaboration, and successfully realised virtual mobility”
Find out how you can also make your microscopy course the course of the year by using digital tools. We discussed with our clients and gathered here a list of five benefits of using WebMicroscope in Anatomy and Pathology education:
1. Easy Learning curve to microscopy
Based on the feedback, one of the biggest benefits is the ease of the learning curve. Compared to conventional microscopy, virtual microscopy offers an intuitive introduction with an easy to use interface.
According to Dr. Mikael Niku (University of Helsinki) WebMicroscope offers significantly easier interface to learn the basics, especially for students who have no previous experience of using conventional microscope. A significant benefit is that students can first see the entire image of the sample, before zooming into the cellular level.
2. Constant high quality material for every student
The ability to ensure each student has access to the same high quality images was seen as another key benefit. Each educator had experiences of glass breaks or had suffered from not having enough similar samples for all students before. Now with a virtual microscope, each student had exactly the same samples to study. This also allowed the educators to select the best, even rare samples for everyone, instead of considering the availability of samples. Even with just one digitized slide the patient case could be studied.
3. Easy maintenance of the material
Maintaining collections has been rendered significantly easier with virtual microscope. Once the sample has been digitized and uploaded to WebMicroscope, it cannot be lost or get broken. Instead, the maintenance time can be spent on acquiring new images and extending your slide collection.
Dr. Tuula Salo (University of Oulu) has years of experience in using WebMicroscope in her courses and feels that her educational collection is never considered complete. She plans to bring more and more case material to her collection to make her teaching closer to patient cases encountered in real-life.
4. Focus on what’s relevant for Pathology education
Virtual microscopy is much more than just digitized slides. It has shifted the focus from teacher led conventional classes to more student centric learning.
Dr. Salo told that she is now able to spend more time discussing the background of the diseases and the patient cases. Then she lets her students learn at their own pace while walking around the classroom answering questions raised by the students. The answers can be shared with the entire class, as everyone is using the same material.
Dr. Joseph Carlson (Karolinska Universitet in Stockholm) utilizes the comment sections in WebMicroscope to have his resident group asking questions about the cases before and after the classes.
5. Always available and with you
Virtual microscopy has allowed students to study at their own time and their own place. When conventional microscopes have been confined to microscopy classes and availability of glasses, digitized material is available anywhere, anytime.
All of our clients interviewed appreciated the availability, as it allows students to self-study whenever they want. WebMicroscope allows the material to be accessed also via mobile devices without restrictions.
Some professors mentioned that they also like the idea that students can go back to the earlier course material if they need to revisit the materials from previous courses.