In the fall of 2001, the University of Oslo decided to prioritize the usage of digital learning systems, and offered funds for their development. We decided to use the opportunity to create a web-based, interactive learning system (1), covering basic physiological and clinical hematology. During initial development, the project was expanded to a general Content-Management System (2) for creating web-based information sites, while maintaining focus on hematology.
MethodThe system was developed using PHP (3), running on the University’s public web-servers, and utilizing the University’s Oracle (4) database servers for information storage. While creating contents, the focus was on the general aspects of applied clinical hematology, presented in the form of hierarchically organized articles with increasing levels of detail. In addition the system offers interactive, clinical cases, using decision points where the students answer clinical questions, deciding on a course of action. Using advanced decision points, it’s possible to create cases where the outcome of the case depends on the choices made.
The content’s sources are mainly a wide range of medical textbooks, as well as some information gathered from the internet. The patient cases are in all important aspects works of fiction, inspired from actual patients and clinical examples in textbooks.
ResultsWe wanted to create an attractive supplement to other teaching sources, and have created a basic reference of normal physiological processes and common hematological diseases. In accordance with the open-ended nature of the project, we hope to make more information available to the users in the future.
References (1) Rønning M, Benestad HB, and Wisløff F. Interactive Hematology. 2004; Available at: http://www2.med.uio.no/dlo/hematologi. (2) Rønning M. DLO - Digital learning online. 2004; Available at: http://wwww2.med.uio.no/dlo. (3) The PHP Group. PHP Scripting Language. http://www.php.net/. (4) Oracle Corporation. Oracle Databases. 2004; Available at: http://www.oracle.com/products/index.html.