Background and Problems
- Large number of teaching resources of different format, including physical and digitized ones, have been collected throughout the years.
- Currently, specimens of different types and corresponding descriptions are indexed and stored separately, making retrieval very inefficient. Description and analysis has to be rewritten whenever new teaching resources are made.
- Produce an indexed library of all available teaching materials and facilitate interaction with specimens with a web based application and powerful search system.
- Through a well-organized collection of teaching resources to assist student directed learning.
- Produce a publicly accessible well organized specimen library and enhance visibility and reputation for the University.
- Produce an indexed library of teaching materials of our department.
- Develop a mobile-friendly cross-platform web-based application to facilitate search, retrieval and update of teaching resources.
Activities, process and outcomes
We have reviewed our current list of specimens and explored other potential specimens. We have found close to 2000 specimens of various kinds including virtual gross specimen, photographs and microscopy slides. Student helpers, with the help of qualified pathologists, described the selected specimens and made short presentations before uploading to the database.
The web app was developed by an oversea programming house and was setup within our department. To facilitate the visualization of the digitized full slide image, we set up another new server within the department for a dedicated software from a Belgium company. The new infrastructure allowed demonstration of specimens at excellent performance.
Deliverables and evaluation
The web app containing the specimens was opened to CUHK network in May 2019, since the beginning of Basic Pathology Course 2019. It can be accessed via https://lib.acp.cuhk.edu.hk/. It will contain all specimens used in undergraduate teaching with a user-friendly searching system. As at May 2019, it contains around 1000 specimens and will continue to expand.
Dissemination, diffusion, impact and sharing of good practices
Experience in hiring external and foreign programming company has been invaluable, allowing significant reduction in cost of software and website development. We have also recruited students interested in pathology to help create the database. They gained in-depth, hands-on experience in pathology practice while they offered extra manpower to the department, breeding new generation of pathologists.
The project has been featured in department seminar and CUHK “Teaching and Learning Innovation Expo 2018”. It is also published in Faculty newsletter 2019, as an example of engaging medical students to improve learning.