In Medical School, Microbiology is now mostly taught using Power Point presentations in the lecture hall with exposure to laboratory wet work in a simulated clinical environment. The approach inherently distances the learner from the clinical laboratory where patients’ samples are handled. A classic way to teach clinical microbiology during clinical rotations, is microbiology rounds where clinical and microbiologic features are integrated into care. Unfortunately, many microbiology laboratories are not located inside hospitals but are part of reference laboratories not easily accessible during rounds.
In an effort to recreate microbiology rounds and using cases as the teaching tool we developed web-based interactive cases that allowed trainees to have "virtual" microbiology rounds.
A total of 56 elearning modules have been created and are available at a password protected website:
http://www.path.emory.edu/Vignettes/ (username and password: MicroV). These modules are interactive, and trainees answer questions which are followed by immediate, concept-rich feedback. The software permits different styles of questions such as multiple choice, true/ false, matching and allows the student to print a certificate of completion at the end of each module. These modules can be accessed different ways: based on a topic or as unknown cases either selecting an organ or system, by microbiologic characteristics (bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites) or as a public health topic (such as vaccine preventable diseases, bioterrorism and others). The modules have been used to teach medical students, public health students, internal medicine/pathology residents and infectious diseases fellows. Evaluation of these modules as a teaching tool for internal medicine residents on ID consult services demonstrated increased knowledge after they completed 10 of 25 selected modules. The modules have been well received and learners report they are a valuable complement to their education as they prepare for exams such as boards.
The use of interactive web-based elearning modules to teach microbiology has been well received and offers the possibility to bring virtual microbiology into the classroom and clinical service.
C. Kraft, None
J. O. Spicer, None
E. Burd, None