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Development of a digital environment for practical teaching/learning of Embryology

Grant number: 15/26395-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2016
Effective date (End): August 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Morphology - Embryology
Principal Investigator:Wilma de Grava Kempinas
Grantee:Lethícia Valencise
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IBB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Botucatu. Botucatu , SP, Brazil


For practical teaching/learning in morphological sciences microscopes and histological sections are traditionally used. The preparation of an Embryology slide collection requires technicians with special training and the utilization of a large number of total embryos or parts of animals' embryos, such as birds and rodents. The installation and maintenance of Microscopy Laboratories is costly and demands a significant number of microscopes and slide collections, besides the appropriate furniture. The extra-class study of the slide collection has been necessarily in person and depends on the availability of classrooms equipped with microscopes and the slide collection itself. Students, in their day-to-day, are familiar with modern computer resources. In recent years machines able to capture, with great precision and detail, histological slides material have been developed. At the same time, advanced software enables the manipulation and edition of the obtained images in various ways, besides providing the detailed study of the structures, with different magnifications, as an optical microscope does. Large foreign Universities have made scanned slide collections available online, especially the ones related to Histology study, but not Embryology. The images obtained after scanning can be made available over a network to a huge number of users, including by remote access, allowing the visualization through software and free access. The purpose of this project is to scan the slide collection of the Embryology discipline of IBB's Morphology Department, to edit the obtained images and to build a virtual environment for practical Embryology's teaching/learning. For that to happen, the scholarship candidate will be trained to use the necessary equipment and software. Besides, the detailed and constant study of the Embryology's slide collection will be done, including the theoretical part of the discipline. It is intended that the outcome of this project will be used in the process of teaching in IBB's classes, but it can possibly be used by other UNESP units or even outside walls, in the distance learning. Thus, it's intended to provide a contribution to the student's knowledge in the Embryology and image edition fields, as well as contributing to the construction of a tool for the teaching/learning of Embryology, using lower cost equipment (computers vs. microscopes) and classrooms that don't necessarily meet the technical specifications of a Microscopy Laboratory. In that way, both teachers and students can benefit from the virtual environment, either facilitating or even enabling the practical teaching/learning of this discipline in our country and elsewhere in the world.

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