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Clin Lab Sci. 2012 Fall;25(4 Suppl):4-12-8.

Digital and traditional slides for teaching cellular morphology: a comparative analysis of learning outcomes.

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UND SMHS Department of Pathology, 501 N. Columbia Road Stop 9037, Grand Forks, ND 58202, USA.


Recent advances in technology have brought forth an intriguing new tool for teaching hematopoietic cellular identification skills: the digital slide. Although digitized slides offer a number of appealing options for educators, little research has been done to examine how their utilization would impact learning outcomes. To fill that void, this study was designed to examine student performance, skill retention and transferability, and self-efficacy beliefs amongst undergraduate MLS students learning cellular morphology with digital versus traditional slides. Results showed that students learning with digital slides performed better on assessments containing only traditional slide specimens than students learning with traditional slides, both immediately following the learning activity and after a considerable duration of time. Students learning with digital slides also reported slightly higher levels of self-efficacy related to cellular identification. The findings of this study suggest that students learning cellular identification skills with digital slides are able to transfer that skill directly to traditional slides, and that their ability to identify cells is not negatively affected in present or future settings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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