Virtual Microscopy for Enhancing Learning and Teaching

Project members:

Project main description:

This project was funded by a grant from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council from 2008-09. Its primary goal was to generate four sets of virtual slides selected for use in learning and teaching in human anatomy (histology), human pathology (histopathology), comparative anatomy/zoology and plant ecology/evolution. These were made available to educators across the sector without charge via a repository, with illustrative examples of the use of virtual slides in practical classes for Medicine and Science students, including sample practical class worksheets.

The project team successfully achieved this goal and, with a variety of enhancements introduced in response to feedback, the repository became available on line in May 2009 at http://virtualslides.unsw.edu.au/

Sample virtual slides are available for viewing. However, access to the complete collections requires a username and password, which can be obtained by lodging a request via a form on the website.

This project led to the innovative use of virtual slides for teaching in Botany/Ecology, with considerable success. Not only were student ratings exceptional but in addition there was measurable evidence of improved learning outcomes, as demonstrated by statistically significant improvement in assessment marks. A paper describing the results of this study has recently been accepted for publication.

Project supporters:

  • Australian Learning and Teaching Council from 2008-09