The effectiveness of collaborative annotation of whole slide images by medical and medical science students was recently evaluated in cohorts of junior and senior students by Michael Sahota (UNSW Australia) as part of his honours research project supervised by Professor Gary Velan, Dr Betty Leung and Dr Stephanie Dowdell.

The study focused on students understanding of abnormal microscopic features of human tissues and critically compared the impact on learning of individual and collaborative annotations using Slice. Learning gains were measured by Smart Sparrow lessons. Results showed that collaborative annotation improves understanding of microscopic morphology for students with sufficient background understanding of the discipline, namely senior students. Collaborative annotation was shown to be at least equivalent to individual annotation for cohorts of junior students.

The work was published in BMC Medical Education in December 2016 and is accessible here.