Re: Suggestions.

Interactive? Hmmmm.....well I'm just going to throw out an idea or two . . .  How about showing them some tissue and allowing them to "stain" the slide in order to show different histologic structures or pathologic conditions?  Maybe they can see an artery and then stain it with an elastic stain to view torn fibers in a damaged artery.

Make them think about what they need to look for and let them order different stains or procedures.  They might have to search for something in particular such as the cause of an ailment.  Perhaps you could add a video clip showing a patient with a sports injury and allow the students to order stains or interview the patient that would lead them to the cause of the condition, such as a particular type of damaged tissue.  Basically, make them think about what they need to look for and then let them look for it.  You could have a little "hint" button that would give tips that lead the student in the right direction.
One tip could be that chronic stomach or esophageal pain that our virtual patient is complaining of "could be the result of gastric reflux disease, ulcers, etc."  Maybe they can figure out, from reading the text, that most ulcers are caused my h. pylori and that staining a slide that demonstrates this organism would be useful in making a diagnosis for ulcers.  Or maybe a stain that more clearly shows damaged tissue caused by exposure to gastric juices . . . a trichrome? I don't know . . . I'm just some histotech.  Basically, my idea is to make it am "I'm Mr. Pathologist / Histologist program."  This sounds like some really weird role playing game, but maybe this rambling e-mail will spark some useful idea in you or someone else.

I'm just thinking that if they have to think about what their doing, sort of troubleshoot, they'll understand whatever material they need to learn more thoroughly.

Good Luck!

Mark Tarango

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