Pathologists dislike sound? Evaluation of a computerised training microscope

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Abstract

Aim

To evaluate the use of multimedia enhancements, using a computerised microscope, in the training of microscope skills.

Methods

The HOME microscope provides facilities to highlight features of interest in conjunction with either text display or aural presentation. A pilot study was carried out with 10 individuals, eight of whom were at different stages of pathology training. A tutorial was implemented employing sound or text, and each individual tested each version. Both the subjective impressions of users and objective measurement of their patterns of use were recorded.

Results

Although both versions improved learning, users took longer to work through the aural than the text version; 90% of users preferred the text only version, including all eight individuals involved in pathology training.

Conclusions

Pathologists appear to prefer visual rather than aural input when using teaching systems such as the HOME microscope and sound does not give added value to the training experience.

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