Showing through March 16 2020

March 2-6 is Open Education Week, an international observation that aims to raise awareness about the positive impact of open education on teaching and learning worldwide. Open education is comprised of resources, tools and practices created through the use of free and openly licensed materials.

These materials, known as Open Educational Resources (OER), allow users to freely access, use, edit, and share with no or limited restrictions. OER can be any materials used in teaching, such as textbooks, slide decks, assessments, or whole courses. Not only do OER help relieve the burden of the high cost of commercial textbooks, but they have been shown to increase student success, especially those from traditionally underserved populations, like minorities and first-generation students. 

To mark Open Education Week, the Cabell Screen presents images from Digital Histology, a richly illustrated and interactive OER that teaches the microscopic structure of tissues and organs. 

These hauntingly beautiful scientific images were compiled by the project team of John Bigbee, Ph.D. and Alice Pakurar, Ph.D. and project designers were Kenneth Foster, Ed.D., and Thomas W. Woodward, M.S. Carole W. Christman, Ph.D., was the medical illustrator. Digital Histology was developed by the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology and the Office of Faculty Affairs, VCU School of Medicine and the ALT Lab, with support from an Affordable Course Content Award in 2018. The Affordable Course Content Awards program is a cross-institutional partnership led by VCU Libraries that supports faculty as they transition to zero textbook costs for their courses. 

Digital Histology is a major resource for histology instruction in the graduate, medical and dental curricula at VCU.

Featuring on-demand labeling of structures and interactive quizzes with formative feedback, Digital Histology can be used by a diverse group of learners. Digital Histology combines a digital atlas with extensive descriptive text. It is organized as a multi-hierarchy outline that reinforces broader histological concepts and parallels the content of traditional histology textbooks. Each of it more than 1,600 pages contains an original, high-quality image accompanied by descriptive text and selectable labels. In addition, interactive quizzes with formative feedback accompany each chapter of Digital Histology. A review textbook with hyperlinks to images in the main package is also included. A brief introductory video is available here: Introduction to Digital Histology

VCU Libraries’ Open and Affordable Course Content Initiative supports instructors as they work to transition their courses to zero textbook cost courses, using either library content or open educational resources. To learn more about Open Educational Resources, refer to this research guide. To learn more about VCU Libraries’ Open and Affordable Course Content Initiative, visit this web page about textbook savings.   

Categories Collections, Digital Collections, Faculty Work, Open Educational Resources

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