Quantification of Pattern Recognition Skills Acquisition ... Quantification of Pattern Recognition

Quantification of Pattern Recognition Skills Acquisition ... Quantification of Pattern Recognition

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  • Quantification of Pattern Recognition Skills Acquisition in Histology Using an Eye-Tracking Device: First-Step Toward Evidence-Based Histology Education

    Virtual histology laboratories (VHL) are increasingly used in histology and pathology courses in medical, dental and graduate curricula across North America. With technological advancements, there is the opportunity to track the learning process to achieving histology competency. The objective of the study was to quantitatively elucidate how learning takes place specifically in a visually oriented subject such as histology. Fourteen, first year graduate students enrolled in histology course were recruited. Using an eye-tracking device, the recruits' eye-movements, task-based and free interactions with the virtual tissue slides on an existing VHL program were recorded and analyzed for emerging patterns across time and evolving level of expertise. The same data points were collected for five, second year students who completed the course a year ago and three histology experts for comparison. The results show that all first-year students decreased the amount of time it took to identify a tissue and demonstrated increase in pattern recognition skills as the course progressed. With increasing skills, the eye-movement patterns of the first year students approached those of the experts. Quantitative analyses reveal that expert level of pattern recognition skills were characterized by longer saccadic movements over key areas of interest and overall, faster determination on tissue identity. By extracting key areas of interest and elucidating a quantitative pattern of the most effective way of approaching histological tissues, future students may benefit from implementing the evidence-based approach presented.

    Jessica E Kahl BA, Patrick Carry BA, and Lisa M.J. Lee, Ph.D.

    University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO U.S.A.

    Abstract

    #694

    Figure 1. A. Slide for active identification B. Slide for passive identification C. Testing environment

    We would like to thank the MSMHA program, Dr. Danielle Royer, Dr. Ernie Salcedo, the Class of 2016 MSMHA students, Fred Gonzales, Oana Rosenthal, Katie Mitchell for their participation, aid and support in the development of this project.

    Introduction

    Results

    Conclusions

    Acknowledgements

    Results

    Methods

    Materials

    Study Participants: 14 first year graduate students (MS1) enrolled in introductory human histology course, 5 second year students (MS2) who previously took the same course, and 3 experts in the field of pathology and histology were recruited to participate in the study. Experimental Design: 12 unknown virtual tissue slides on LeesHistology.com Two eye-tracking measurements per slide using GazepointTM Active Identification Quiz Passive Identification Quiz Analysis: Among the first year students, linear mixed model regression analyses were used to compare the outcome variables of interest across the three study phases. Due to the small number of experts and second year students, it was not possible to test for differences in the primary outcome variables between students, experts, and second year students.

    There is a difference between novice and experts the amount of time identify a tissue and distinct patterns of eye fixations. Experts taking a more holistic view before zooming in to identify the target tissue, where as, novice students were more likely to try to identify the tissue at a higher magnification.

    First year students quickly learn how to approach slides, mimicking the eye patterns of experts and taking a shorter amount of time to identify tissues or selected areas of interest and a smaller number of fixations within the area of interest. Second year students maintained improved approaches to viewing histology slides with faster times to identify tissues and fewer fixations within the area of interest.

    Saccades may play a different role in histology competency compared to pathology competency.

    A.

    B.

    C.

    Histology is visually oriented subject that requires pattern recognition skills. Virtual histology laboratories are being viewed favorably and are increasingly incorporated into histology education. Previous research between novice viewers and experts in the field of pathology found that experts and novice students view histology slides differently, with pathology experts taking shorter times and viewing targeted the areas of interest fewer times. Virtual histology labs and developments in eye-tracking technology allow new approaches to the quantitative analyses of the differences between experts and novice histology students. The objective of this project was to track the progress of students pattern recognition skill mastery during the histology course to elucidate how individual students are approaching histology slides compared to each other, intermediate students and experts.

    Figure 2. Heat map depicting the eye movements of Novice and Experts during active task identification

    Figure 3. Active task: time to task completion Figure 4. Passive task: time to task completion

    Figure 5. Active task: eye fixations Figure 6. Passive task: eye fixations

    Figure 7. Active task: length of saccades Figure 8. Passive task: length of saccades

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    Length of Saccades

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    Length of Saccades

    Time: 19.35sec

    Time: 12.15sec

    Time: 10.8sec

    Time: 4.35sec

    Number of Eye Fixations

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