Online education in cytotechnology programs: A pilot study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Introduction: The University of Nebraska Medical Center's cytotechnology program has received requests for an on-line program. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate that on-line education with virtual microscopy (VM) achieves similar screening and interpretation skills as traditional teaching methods using light microscopy (LM). Materials and methods: The pilot phase was conducted using the first two courses in the program. The students were divided into two groups; traditional and virtual. The virtual group replaced LM with VM, while the traditional group utilized traditional teaching methods. At the end of the two courses, the virtual group was shown how to use LM and was given glass slide examinations. Results: The mean of the female genital tract (FGT) screening quizzes and exams of the traditional group was 92.5; the mean for the virtual group was 86.8. For the respiratory tract (RT) course, the traditional group had a mean of 96 for their screening exams while the virtual group's was 85.3. The glass slide examinations (FGT Mean = 98, RT Mean = 95.3) given to the virtual group at the end of the pilot study demonstrated their ability to apply screening and interpretation skill learned from VM to LM. Conclusion: The study concludes that screening and interpretation skills of the traditional and virtual groups were similar. It appears possible to train students using VM as the sole method of teaching. The study will be extended to another cohort of students using the entire curriculum to further demonstrate the soundness of these results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-243
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Society of Cytopathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Cytology
  • Cytotechnology programs
  • Digital images
  • Distance education
  • Online education
  • Virtual microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Online education in cytotechnology programs: A pilot study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this