Comparison of a virtual microscope laboratory to a regular microscope laboratory for teaching histology

Anat Rec. 2001 Feb;265(1):10-4. doi: 10.1002/ar.1036.


Emerging technology now exists to digitize a gigabyte of information from a glass slide, save it in a highly compressed file format, and deliver it over the web. By accessing these images with a standard web browser and viewer plug-in, a computer can emulate a real microscope and glass slide. Using this new technology, the immediate aims of our project were to digitize the glass slides from urinary tract, male genital, and endocrine units and implement them in the Spring 2000 Histology course at the University of Iowa, and to carry out a formative evaluation of the virtual slides of these three units in a side-by-side comparison with the regular microscope laboratory. The methods and results of this paper will describe the technology employed to create the virtual slides, and the formative evaluation carried out in the course. Anat Rec (New Anat) 265:10-14, 2001.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Computer-Assisted Instruction / methods*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / methods*
  • Histology / education*
  • Internet
  • Medical Laboratory Science
  • Microscopy / methods*
  • User-Computer Interface*