Patient demonstrations and videotape recordings are important tools for teaching neurology within the classroom. However, the effectiveness of these methods is limited by: (1) unreliable patient availability; (2) costs involved in copying and distributing analog videotape; and, (3) the inability of either format to provide convenient review and reinforcement of physical exam instruction before performance-based testing. Our objective is to remove limitations to the use of live patients and videotape by providing easy access to digital videos designed for distribution over computer networks and playback on student desktop computers. We previously described video capture and compression parameters for delivery of neurologic QuickTime streaming videos (Pearson, et. al., 1999, SOL/CHES Proceedings, Phila). The present report describes the creation and use of the Neurological Teaching Videos (NTV) website where videos and other teaching resources are stored in a database that is searchable within the HTML environment. Our site (www.ntv.wright.edu) is contained on a Macintosh G3 computer (400mHz; 256MB RAM) running Mac OS X-Apache web server software. The site is designed to: (1) permit external online searches to identify signs, symptoms and diagnoses contained in the database; (2) provide onsite searching, browsing and preview of video files; and (3) maintain patient privacy though a site password system. The database-driven website is built around: (1) FileMaker 5 database software, (2) Macromedia Dreamweaver, and (3) Lasso software which makes the FileMaker database accessible through an HTML environment. Video files exist as: (1) short clips that depict individual neurologic signs or symptoms, and (2) long movies depicting series of tests that together comprise the physical exam. Highly compressed versions of the short clips are provided for search and preview over open Internet. FileMaker records are indexed using Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) vocabulary, when possible. Our strategy is for client institutions to incorporate these videos into their own curricula and distribute them 'on-demand' via Local Area Network to their students. We feel this will supplement the usefulness of live patients and existing analog video recordings as a learning tools, and help bring performance-based testing to higher prominence in neurology education. (Supported by grant LM06945 from the National Library of Medicine).
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/john_pearson1/15/