AIM: To evaluate the use of multimedia enhancements, using a computerised microscope, in the training of microscope skills. METHODS: The HOME microscope provides facilities to highlight features of interest in conjunction with either text display or aural presentation. A pilot study was carried out with 10 individuals, eight of whom were at different stages of pathology training. A tutorial was implemented employing sound or text, and each individual tested each version. Both the subjective impressions of users and objective measurement of their patterns of use were recorded. RESULTS: Although both versions improved learning, users took longer to work through the aural than the text version; 90% of users preferred the text only version, including all eight individuals involved in pathology training. CONCLUSIONS: Pathologists appear to prefer visual rather than aural input when using teaching systems such as the HOME microscope and sound does not give added value to the training experience.
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