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Use of interactive live digital imaging to enhance histology learning in introductory level anatomy and physiology classes


  • Tarig B. Higazi

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biological Sciences, Ohio University Zanesville, Zanesville, Ohio
    • Department of Biological Sciences, Ohio University Zanesville, Elson 249, 1425 Newark Rd, Zanesville, Ohio 43701 USA
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Histology is one of the main subjects in introductory college-level Human Anatomy and Physiology classes. Institutions are moving toward the replacement of traditional microscope-based histology learning with virtual microscopy learning amid concerns of losing the valuable learning experience of traditional microscopy. This study used live digital imaging (LDI) of microscopic slides on a SMART board to enhance Histology laboratory teaching. The interactive LDI system consists of a digital camera-equipped microscope that projects live images on a wall-mounted SMART board via a computer. This set-up allows real-time illustration of microscopic slides with highlighted key structural components, as well as the ability to provide the students with relevant study and review material. The impact of interactive LDI on student learning of Histology was then measured based on performance in subsequent laboratory tests before and after its implementation. Student grades increased from a mean of 76% (70.3–82.0, 95% CI) before to 92% (88.8–95.3, 95% CI) after integration of LDI indicating highly significant (P < 0.001) enhancement in students' Histology laboratory performance. In addition, student ratings of the impact of the interactive LDI on their Histology learning were strongly positive, suggesting that a majority of students who valued this learning approach also improved learning and understanding of the material as a result. The interactive LDI technique is an innovative, highly efficient and affordable tool to enhance student Histology learning, which is likely to expand knowledge and student perception of the subject and in turn enrich future science careers. Anat Sci Educ 4: 78–83, 2011. © 2011 American Association of Anatomists.