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Ann Anat. 2011 Oct 20;193(5):395-402. doi: 10.1016/j.aanat.2011.04.009. Epub 2011 May 13.

MyMiCROscope: intelligent virtual microscopy in a blended learning model at Ulm University.

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Institute of Molecular and Cellular Anatomy, Ulm University, Albert-Einstein-Allee, Germany.


The growing diversity among students and the rapid increase in new technologies entering the system of higher education, demand reconsideration of traditional learning methods. To improve the individual student's learning situation we developed and integrated a novel virtual microscope, MyMiCROscope, into a face-to-face approach for teaching microscopic anatomy. The intelligent virtual microscope has not only enabled self-directed learning of the students at their individual learning speed independent of time and place but also offered new possibilities to interact with the user because it implements systematic annotations accessible from different operational levels. Furthermore the alteration of a sole instructor-led course into a blended learning model resulted in a change of the learning behaviour of the students: group work and social interactions were facilitated. The results of this study show the advantages that intelligent virtual microscopy incorporates for self-directed learning and that blended learning in undergraduate medical education is able to fulfil the individual needs of the students and support social interactions without disregarding practical skills.

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