Teaching genomic pathology: Translating team-based learning to a virtual environment using computer-based simulation

Richard L. Haspel, Asma M. Ali, Grace C. Huang, Matt H. Smith, James B. Atkinson, Devon S. Chabot-Richards, Robin M. Elliott, Karen L. Kaul, Suzanne Z. Powell, Arundhati Rao, Henry M. Rinder, Chad M. Vanderbilt, Rebecca Wilcox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Context.-Developing skills related to use of computer-based tools is critical for practicing genomic pathology. However, given the relative novelty of genomics education, residency programs may lack faculty members with adequate expertise and/or time to implement training. A virtual team-based learning (TBL) environment would make genomic pathology education available to more trainees. Objective.-To translate an extensively implemented in-person TBL genomic pathology workshop into a virtual environment and to evaluate both knowledge and skill acquisition. Design.-Using a novel interactive simulation approach, online modules were developed translating aspects of the TBL experience into the virtual environment with a goal of acquisition of necessary computer-related skills. The modules were evaluated at 10 postgraduate pathology training programs using a pre-post test design with participants deidentified. A postmodule anonymous survey obtained participant feedback on module quality and efficacy. Results.-There were 147 trainees who received an email request to voluntarily participate in the study. Of these, 43 trainees completed the pretest and 15 (35%) subsequently completed the posttest. Mean overall scores were 45% on the pretest compared with 70% on the posttest (P, .001; effect size ¼ 1.4). Posttest improvement of results was similar for questions testing acquisition of knowledge versus skills. Regarding the 19 participants who took the survey, 18 (95%) would recommend the modules to others and believed they met the stated objectives. Conclusions.-A simulation-based approach allows motivated pathology trainees to acquire computer-related skills for practicing genomic pathology. Future work can explore efficacy in a nonvoluntary setting and adaptation to different specialties, learners, and computer tools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-517
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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