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PIL Microanatomy: Study Resources

Please click here to view the rules and regulations for usage of the Interdisciplinary Laboratory cubicles. 

The following resources are available to help you complete laboratory exercises:

1. The virtual microscope
You can access the virtual microscope via the wireless network from anywhere on campus or where you have a high-speed internet connection at the following URL:


It can also be accessed via the Blackboard Learn Site or the Course Website. A vmicroscope App is also available on the ipad.

You may utilize the virtual microscope in the laboratory as well via wireless on your laptop, and view it on the flatscreen monitor at your lab table by connecting your laptop to the blue VGA connector, or your ipad via an ipad connector. You can also utilize the desktop computer systems located in a corner of each of the laboratory cubicles.

2. Microscopes and glass slide boxes
The PIL microanatomy course relies primarily on virtual slides. You are not required to utilize glass slides, however if you choose to use them a few sets of MCP and Hahnemann (HU) slide boxes will be available in the lockers located at the entrance to cubicle E. Information on locker access will be provided in the first resource session.

3. Lab tables and flat screen monitors
Each lab group will be assigned a lab table with associated light microscope and flatscreen monitor. The monitor can be attached to a laptop computer for use with other resources. This allows your entire lab group to view the same glass slide, virtual slide, EM image, or other resource at the same time. We encourage you to complete laboratory assignments in groups, and believe you will find the laboratory setup very useful in stimulating group discussions that may answer many of the questions you might be unable to resolve by working alone.

4. Videodisks
We use a videodisk called Histology: A Photographic Atlas. It contains light microscope images that supplement our glass slide collection. The detailed operation of the videodisk equipment can be found in the equipment instruction guide here (also found in the microanatomy resources folder on the Blackboard Learn homepage). Don't forget to make use of the computer index for the videodisk (available on the desktop Macintosh computer located in each interdisciplinary laboratory cubicle) and the web-based histology atlas, available as a link in the Microanatomy resources section of the Blackboard Learn site.

5. Blackboard Learn Site
All of the online resources that are found on this webpage, plus additional case based information and self-assessment exams, can be accessed through the PIL Micronatomy BlackBoard Learn course page. It is accessible via a link from our main website (at left), or directly using the following URL:

Key Blackboard Learn resources relevant to the Microanatomy and Cell Biology Course include:

A. Case Based Folders
At the beginning of each case, a folder will be activated that will include resources relevant to the learning objectives of that case. This can include self-study modules (short online lectures or written tutorials that cover material not included in live resource sessions), virtual microscopy laboratory assignments, or links to other external resources.

B. Microanatomy Resources Folder
Includes links to Virtual Microscope Laboratory Slideboxes, Virtual Microscope Index, EM Atlas, Histology Atlas (online videodisk images), Scavenger Hunt Assignments, Practice Practical and Written Exams, Vocabulary lists and more.

C. Scavenger Hunts

Scavenger hunt assignments will be available here, starting at the beginning of each Laboratory Review Session.

D. Assignments
Completed scavenger hunt assignments can be submitted directly to Blackboard Learn for grading by clicking on the Assignments tab.

C. Self-Assessment Exams
At the end of each case (or topic), self-assessment exams will become available to you in the 'assessments' tab of the course tools menu. These self-assessments will consist of 5-10 questions on Microanatomy topics covered by the objectives of a case. You will also have separate self-assessments available for some self-study modules (e.g. cell biology). These self-assessments are entirely optional for you. Although faculty will be able to see how you performed on the self-assessment, your scores will NOT count towards your grade, and cannot be held against you in any way. We will set the score that goes to the gradebook to be your highest score of the two attempts.

These self-assessments are meant to serve as helpful reviews for you after you have spent some time studying the material covered in a case. They contain questions that are very similar in format and content to questions that will be on your actual quizzes and exams. They are timed in order to provide a good simulation for a real examination. They can be taken a maximum of two times, and you will receive feedback on wrong answers and be able to refer back to the quiz as many times as you wish after taking it.

**You may not copy, save or share any images or questions from the**
self-assessment exams

In order to take the self assessments, you must do the following:
1. To be able to take a self assessment exam you must install the Respondus Lockdown Browser into your computer. It can be downloaded at:
2. As you begin a self-assessment exam, quickly scroll into it to check that all the questions and images display correctly. If not, close and restart the browser. -The total time allowed for the exam is timed at 1.4 min/question, similar to the Step I Boards) ***At the exam end time the exam will terminate without warning so be sure to save and submit your self assessment exam before the time is over.***
3. As you answer the questions it is recommended to save each of your answers as you go, so that if your computer crashes by accident, your work will be saved and will be there when you log back to continue the exam.
4. Before submitting the exam, verify that you answered all the questions and be sure to select "Save All"