There is a great variability in size and quality of the teaching file, our 5 favorite
teaching files are:
- University of
Alabama at Birmingham
- largest teaching file in the United States with over 400 cases.
Middlesex Hospital Trust, South Bank University, London, England
- large teaching file, diagnosis is hidden in a scroll box.
Universitätsklinik, Abt. für Radiodiagnostik, 66421 Homburg/Saar
- very fast teaching file to review, the image quality is excellent, but the image file
size is small.
- University Hospitals
of Cleveland, Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, and Case Western Reserve University
- teaching file with consistent good quality images and discussions.
From the experience gained from viewing these teaching files we compiled a list of
do's and don'ts for teaching file authors.
Regarding text formats; the following guidelines apply.
- The text should be descriptive and informative. There is no need to skimp on the words;
they take almost no time to download.
- Try to supply references, link your references to PubMed, to provide the abstracts of
- Know your audience. If you audience is beginning radiologists or students, then aim the
discussion at basics. If your cases are aimed at practicing radiologists, clearly
different content is required.
Regarding images, the most important factor in Web-based teaching files:
- Image size on the screen does not necessarily equal image file download size.
- Web images are not to be used for a final radiology report. Therefore, the images need
only be large enough to clearly demonstrate the finding of interest.
- Thumbnail images are a waste of time. Inline
images are the most efficient way to display images and are preferable to placing just links to the images.
- JPEG images usually are smaller and take less time to download
than GIFs. In general, image quality is not significantly different, but download times
- Do not put more images than necessary to make the teaching point. A teaching file
page should ideally consist of one or two, and no more than four images.
- Consider that users have some, but not a lot, of patience. Expert web page designers
recommend that a web page take up no more than 30k in order to not lose the site visitor's
interest. Due to the greater dependence on images in radiology, We feel that up to page
sizes from 80-100k (requiring approximately a 30 second download time on a 28.8 modem)
can. If you cannot condense all your images to less than 100k, rethink your approach.