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Teaching Histology with Virtual Microscopy

By Richard Feinberg, PhD New Jersey Medical School

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Abstract: The traditional method of teaching histology involved the use of glass slides and microscopes. A new era began in 2007 when NJMS began to teach histology using Virtual Microscopy (VM). VM doesn’t replace the use of glass slides as the source of instruction; it simply takes them out of the hands of the user. Every square millimeter of a specimen is captured as a montage of high resolution digital images viewed on a computer. Exploration of the VM image is accomplished by simply dragging the mouse and changing the field of interest. Examining the image at different magnifications is accomplished with a click of the mouse. Students and faculty view a perfectly focused image that generates discussion and collaboration while increasing the speed and efficiency of learning. VM encourages an active learning environment and has enabled the faculty to efficiently teach despite the increase in student /faculty ratio. This form of instruction promotes team based learning and allows the faculty to prepare a better quality exam since the same digital specimen was available to everyone.

Teaching Histology with Virtual Microscopy
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