Comments on the Web-Trace hands-on session

The session: This session described and provided hands-on experience of Web-Trace.   Daniela explained that the motivation for Web-Trace were the problems associated with cephalometric tracing. These problems were addressed by putting images and cases on-line, by involving students through online tracing, and by providing graphical feedback. This solution was then generalised in Web-Trace, to create a learning tool to cover other medical areas where tracing is involved. Web-Trace is a “lean” content management system, with other types of educational resource and support for student-teacher communication. It focuses on interactive exercises and is now mEducator compliant. Following on from the description and demonstration of the system, delegates were given hands-on experience, directed from the stage by Daniela, such that delegates were able to navigate through the features of the system, both in the roles of teachers and students.
Comment: The session was successful, in that it achieved its aims. The description of the system was clear and informative and delegates successfully navigated through key features and thus gained concrete and practical experiences of the ideas presented at the start of the session. However, the demonstration and hands-on exercises were made difficult by technical problems. Some compatibility problems emerged when Web-Trace was demonstrated, and consequently the demonstration was made less clear and had to be incomplete.  A further problem was that the microphone on stage is fixed, and consequently there were big fluctuations in volume as the speaker moved  around the stage. Also, the hands-on exercise was directed from the stage, which did not allow for individually self-paced progress, e.g., as when working from an instruction sheet.  The above problems in facilitating the hands-on exercise were partly due to the venue not being well suited for this sort of workshop exercise.