Development and evaluation of an online integrative histology module: simple design, low-cost, and improves pathology self-efficacy.

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Medical Educucation Online


Integration of core concepts is an important aspect of medical curriculum enhancement. Challenges to improving integration include the risk of curtailing the basic sciences in the process and the push to decrease contact hours in medical curricula. Self-paced learning tools can be developed that deliberately relate basic and clinical sciences to aid students in making interdisciplinary connections. The purpose of this project was to develop, implement, and evaluate a self-paced learning module that would be applicable to integration of different disciplines in medical education. The module was intended to improve integration between histology and anatomic pathology before a respiratory pathology laboratory session. Qualtrics XM, a survey software commonly available at educational institutions, was used in a novel manner to create the module. Module activities included pre- and post-module quizzes; four short videos emphasizing normal histological features and recalling associated pathologies; three categorization activities designed for students to recognize normal versus abnormal characteristics of lung specimens; and post-activity feedback. Preliminary data from first-year medical students showed that post-module quiz scores were significantly higher than pre-module quiz scores (p < 0.001) and that module users' pre-laboratory pathology self-efficacy was significantly higher than non-users (p < 0.05). These data suggest that module use facilitated short-term knowledge gain and improved pathology self-efficacy before the laboratory session. Online modules can be developed affordably using Qualtrics XM to integrate anatomical sciences with other disciplines, while providing students interactive learning resources without increasing contact hours. The module presented in this report focused on normal versus abnormal morphology, guiding students through recognizing the continuum from healthy to disease states before learning about the pathologies more in depth. A similar module design would likely be effective in integrating other disciplines in medicine, especially in disciplines that require recognition of changes in morphology.





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