Perry O. Rush, D.C.
One instructor’s use of
the digital camera has recently completely altered his classroom presentations.
As “old school” teachers discover the wonders of technology, students learn
faster and struggle less to grasp classroom material.
Students frequently voice their appreciation for the changes made in the x-ray
anatomy course taught by Assistant Professor of Clinical Sciences Perry Rush,
D.C. Soon after, his two x-ray positioning courses took on a new appearance,
followed by two more courses.
This overhaul in presentation style led to the natural evolution of a CD in his
x-ray anatomy course. The CD, an organized collection of 371 labeled x-ray
views, comes with radiographic notes for purchase in the bookstore. The CD has
been a welcome tool for classroom material review. It contains eight PowerPoint
picture presentations identifying every anatomical part covered in the notes. It
also contains 92 digital pictures of real bone specimens from numerous angles.
Digital pictures that are taken of x-rays in a view box are then downloaded into
a computer file and added to a growing repository used to custom build
presentations as needed. The advantages are many.
As it often happens, these changes to Rush’s course came as a response to one
particular problem and ended up as an improvement in many ways. As the x-rays
students used in the course became old, scratched and lost, it became more and
more difficult to replace them for various reasons. Each quarter, fewer and
fewer good x-rays were available for student use. A search of the Internet
provided some resources but lacked certain flexibility.
Flexibility came as digital x-rays were incorporated into the class
presentations and each student could see the same image of a handpicked x-ray
projected on a large screen. This, of course is done all the time in learning
institutions. But what may be different in this case is the ease of customizing
presentations from resources built from the instructor’s own large and growing
repository, a repository easily shared with other faculty. What if a clear
close-up of a particular anatomical part was needed? What if an x-ray of a
“posticus ponticus” was needed and the student could see a real bone specimen
right beside it? These examples may be hard to find in a book, but they are now
part of an easily accessible digital repository.
A total of three CDs in three different courses have improved the learning
process, and this repository has branched out into other areas as well. Rush’s
X-ray Setups Positioning CD contains a step-by-step PowerPoint “picture cruise”
of each step for all cervical and full spine x-ray positions taught in his two
courses. As students prepare for clinic entrance exams, the CD provides an
excellent review. It also provides consistency from classroom to implementation
and makes those materials easily accessible for course review committees and
health center staff.
As individual faculty became inquisitive, Dean of Clinical Sciences Robert
Irwin, D.C., asked Rush to do a faculty presentation of his course development
improvements. This presentation gave a step-by-step approach to Rush’s methods.
“In light of technology advances, what I am doing is simple and basic,” Rush
says, “although I had to deal with quite a learning curve. Until recently, I
didn’t know much about digital cameras. I also didn’t know that much about
PowerPoint presentations, or using the Smart Room equipment in the classroom.”
The basic tools Rush uses include an Optio 450 Pentax digital camera, a computer
with CD burner and an x-ray viewbox. Sherman provided the necessary equipment,
and a colleague helped him master PowerPoint. Another helped him with the
production of the CDs. Trial and error provided expertise, and enthusiasm grew
out of classroom transformation.
After watching Rush’s faculty presentation, Associate Professor of Clinical
Sciences Bill Fehl, D.C., approached Rush for some initial mentoring. Soon Fehl
was also caught up in the process of transforming his classroom presentations.
The x-ray department is now also in the process of building an x-ray repository
of digital images from x-rays obtained in the health center. A repository of
digital images in other courses unrelated to x-ray will provide similar
advantages to other instructors.