Z3212774 Current Web Resources for Medical Students: Cardiac Embryology

From CellBiology

The following table is a brief evaluation of sites that are currently available for teaching medical students cardiovascular embryology. The sites were found using Google searches "cardiovascular embryology" and "cardiac embryology".

Bibliographic Details Content Included Formatting and Media Evaluation of Design and Usefulness
Cardiovascular Embryology. Indiana University Includes animations with some incorporated (animated) text outlining: early heart and primitive heart tube folding, primitive heart beating, septum development, the atrioventricular canal, development of aorta and pulmonary trunk, foetal Vs postnatal circulation, pericardium development and the aortic arch vessels. The site is a list of animations each with a pre-and post-test. Each animation is also followed by an evaluation. Clearly designed with specific objectives that appear to be met with fairly accurate information. It is still in the process of evaluation. The animations do not appear to have been designed cohesively for the site as they are out of order and repetitive. The animations act as a simpler learning tool yet are less effective because of their particular faults: the heart appears suspended in nothing thus no relations are made to the embryo itself.
Cardiovascular System Development. UNSW Embryology Includes a timeline that acts as an overview of development, cartoon heart development, briefly describes heart layers and heart volumes. Has links to related pages; abnormalities page very comprehensive. Outlines specific learning objectives, computer activities and learning activities. Includes a glossary. Some text, the bulk of which (“development overview”) is in bullet points. Videos and images. Reliable and accurate information with included reference lists. Designed with specific objectives. Layout difficult to navigate. Introduction effective in orienting the learner to cardiovascular embryology. Videos effective yet not enough text/explanation to be used as a complete learning tool.
Embryological Development of the Human. University of Illinois Fairly comprehensive coverage of cardiovascular embryology; has a somewhat greater focus on cardiac than vascular aspects. Very small, dense text with no pictures or animations Appears to be mostly reliable information with an ample reference list, however extensive poor grammar is concerning. Concepts placed in alphabetical order; seems to be an ineffective design for embryology where chronological order is the most effective, accepted form of presentation. Extensive list of links to online resources such as embryology atlases, teaching resources and learning programs and animations. Unfortunately most links are animal based or teach fairly generic embryology that is less useful for learning cardiovascular embryology.
Development of the Cardiovascular System Lecture notes cover all aspects of cardiovascular development well. Other content included in the form of animations etc. is minimal. Links to handouts, lecture slides, micrographs, case studies, ultrasounds and animations. A user friendly website directed at an appropriate level for medical students. Access to powerpoint slides particularly useful.
Embryo Images Online. University of North Carolina Covers cardiac system fairly wholly with brief notes yet detailed relevant images. More peripheral vasculature not covered. Scanning electron micrographs of mouse embryos supported by some text and diagrams An excellent source in terms of examining real embryos thus not having an understanding based purely on schematic diagrams. The information is accurate and structured logically. The site is well laid out with the homepage clearly explaining use. The lack of text means images and concepts are poorly explained thus the website should be used in conjunction with explanatory text or animations.
Human Embryology Animations for: heart looping, atrial septation, realignment, ventricular septation, aortic branches and foetal circulation. Animations, self-tests and glossaries associated with Larsen’s Human Embryology textbook Combined with the textbook the animations and self-tests are useful however are fairly ineffectual without it. Animations are high quality.
Cardiovascular Embryology The site is a list of links for online resources teaching cardiovascular embryology. The site is outdated as most of the links no longer function. Functioning hyperlinks usually connect to corporate sites that do not appear to inform/teach cardiac embryology. Working links link to other sites above e.g. UNSW Embryology.
Heart Embryology. University of Toronto Tube formation, looping, atrial septation, outflow tract septation, ventricular septation. Interactive multimedia application designed to provide 3D interactive animations of heart development Animations are not able to show many of the changes occurring over time e.g. the 20 day heart is completely different to the 21 day heart without an explanation of the changes occurring here. Poorly explained information in general. Combination of the in-situ heart, interactive heart model and scrolling text excellent design overall.
Heart Development. Loyola Univeristy Describes: formation of the heart tube, partitioning of the atria, the sinus venosus, pulmonary veins, atrioventricular canals, ventricles, partitioning of the outflow tract. Includes additional detailed information on congenital heart disease. Links to very detailed lecture notes (predominantly text) Potentially excessive amounts of text yet the information is taught and explained logically and well. A timetable of events is included to allow for a better understanding of the sequence.