Volume 3. No 1 Information Technology News of the University of California, Davis Fall 1994
Interactive Software Entices Students
Editor's Note: Many departments are using educational software to supplement classroom teaching. The Division of Information Technology provides consultation on the development of interactive software programs. Call 752-0218.
Faculty at the School of Veterinary Medicine have developed educational software programs on a variety of subjects. The programs support classroom teaching and research. Faculty who incorporate the computer programs into their curriculum cite many benefits, including the following:
- The programs are interactive. Unlike textbooks that
display only linear drawings, computer graphics create
a 3-dimensional effect. Many programs have built-in
quizzes, allowing students to test their knowledge. A
beep sounds when an incorrect answer is given, alerting
the student to go back and review the material.
- The programs preserve images, so students can review
material more than once. For example, a program used to
teach hematology displays images of different cell types
that students can call-up on the screen to study. In some
instances, students are able to view on computer an unusual
situation they might not have an opportunity to see under the
The programs encourage collaboration. It is not unusual to see a group of students huddled around a computer screen discussing a problem posed in a program.
Here is a brief look at just a few of the educational software programs developed by the School of Veterinary Medicine:
Developed by Dr. Janine B. Kasper, Dr. George Cardinet, and David Magliano, this program combines text and graphics. It is used to teach osteology to first year students. Canine Osteology was the first educational software program marketed by the School of Veterinary Medicine. The School has a demonstration disk it sends out for review.
Developed by Dr. Dwight C. Hirsh, a microbiologist, this is one of several case studies used as an "open-book" midterm examination for second-year veterinary students in microbiology.
Canine Radiographic Anatomy
Dr. William J. Hornoff and John Doval are developing a series of programs used to teach radiological science. One program in the series simulates x-rays seen on film to teach students how to get the exposure needed to make a diagnosis.
Interactive Laboratory Instruction in Veterinary Hematology
Dr. Nemi C. Jain uses this program to teach comparative hematology. Students view images of abnormalities in leukocytes and bone marrow. A "control screen" displays images of normal data, giving students a point of comparison.
Computer Assimilated Case Management and Decision Making
Dr. Gerald V. Ling, associate director of the Small Animal Clinic, incorporated 20 cases in various stages of completion into this program. The program gives students an opportunity to start clinical synthesis before their fourth year. The case-management program provides practice in using VMTH forms and practice in problem-based case formats.
Use of Digital Images in General Pathology
Dr. Dennis Wilson says this program is a very useful laboratory teaching aid. Because students like to study clinical cases, Wilson incorporates the images into a case-based format.
This program is designed to teach students the problem-solving skills needed to practice veterinary medicine. While Dr. Donald Strombeck developed this test-based program for students, he says it also is appropriate for use by private practitioners. Students make decisions based on the patient profiles presented on computer.
A color atlas of parasites of domestic and non-domestic animals, Parasitolog was Developed by Robin Houston in collaboration with Drs. Walter Boyce and Patricia Conrad to support classroom instruction in parasitology. The program was initially conceived by George McKay, a veterinary student (Class '95) to facilitate his studies of parasitology.
For further information on these and other educational software programs developed by the School of Veterinary Medicine, contact the Computer Assisted Learning Facility (CALF) at 752-2477.