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J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci. 2010 May;49(3):307-11.

Development and implementation of multimedia content for an electronic learning course on rodent surgery.

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  • 1Veterinary Bioscience Institute, Harleysville, Pennsylvania, USA.


The development of new rodent models of human disease and advances in surgical equipment and technologies have increased the demand for expertise in rodent surgery. Because of the limited availability of rodent surgical training courses, electronic (e-) learning is presented as an alternative to in-person education and as a means to hone the expertise of current surgeons in biomedical research, similar to e-learning applications for human surgery training. Translating this model to the biomedical research field provides participants with an opportunity to train themselves on rodent surgical techniques prior to operating on live models. An e-learning rodent surgery course was incorporated into a training class of undergraduate (n = 39) and graduate (n = 12) laboratory animal students, and a portion of the course was presented to laboratory animal professionals (n = 15). The effectiveness of the method was evaluated using written examination and postcourse surveys. The exam data demonstrated that the e-learning course transferred knowledge comparable to a lecture course on surgery that was presented in-person. Students responded favorably to videos, step-by-step photographs of surgical procedures, and the ready accessibility of the course. Critiques included the need to improve video resolution and quality of the voice-overs. These results support the continued development and implementation of electronic rodent surgical technique courses for use in laboratory animal and biomedical research communities.

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