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27 Aug 21. Online learning: Applications in disease

Applications in disease is a first year course in Edinburgh Imaging Academy’s post-graduate Neuroimaging for Research & PET-MR principles & applications degree programmes. It can also be taken not-for-credit as CPD / CME.

Group map on a glass brain (i.e. maximum intensity projection) from a multi-centre trial of schizophrenia.
Group map on a glass brain (i.e. maximum intensity projection) from a multi-centre trial of schizophrenia.

Our online Applications in disease (ADIX) course has the option of following a neuroimaging theme or a general imaging theme. Each option teaches about common disorders & how imaging techniques might be used in research, as well as clinically, to improve our understanding of those disorders as well as their treatments.

You can download our Applications in disease syllabus, which includes all the learning objectives for each module & lecture, here:

 

We offer multiple options for studying Applications in disease:

 

We asked Dr Michael Stringer, Research Fellow in MR & Analysis, who is the main tutor for the Applications in disease & Clinical applications (CLAP) courses, to describe the courses in more detail:
  • Who is the ADIX & CLAP courses aimed at?

We designed these courses for people with a range of different experiences & backgrounds. For many students it is their first introduction to online learning, as a core course for our MSc / Dip / Cert programmes, often after several years away from formal education. For others it is taken shortly after completing a first degree to acquire new skills or enhance their imaging knowledge. Also, while many of our students are well established in imaging related careers (e.g. radiographers, medical doctors, radiologists, image analysts etc.), for others it is more of an introduction to the field. As such, students of different backgrounds & different learning objectives can find what they need in one or the other course:

  • ADIX – focused on what we can find out about different diseases or contexts from complementary imaging modalities, for those with less of a grounding in clinical contexts.
  • CLAP – centred around understanding how & for what reasons, different modalities are used in clinical practice to assess patients & inform diagnoses, for those from clinical backgrounds.

 

  • What can you learn in the ADIX & CLAP courses?

The courses include a common module on systematic review methodology, which explores how to develop research questions & find relevant material in a systematic & repeatable way. This is later built on in the in-course activity for those who take the course for credit.

For students taking ADIX we group the remaining modules around specific diseases (e.g. stroke, dementia) or contexts (e.g. veterinary applications, neurosurgery). Each of these explains how imaging is applied in context & the potential benefits, whether it is potentially earlier or more accurate diagnosis, or improving outcomes, as in surgical planning using functional magnetic resonance imaging.

For students on the CLAP course we group each module around an imaging modality. The lectures focus on the indications for different scans/methods (e.g. what contexts are they most useful in, when would you order one over the other), what these can tell us & importantly, some aspects of how radiologists interpret the scans (e.g. how different presentations look on imaging, common artefacts to watch out for).

 

  • What benefits can you get from our online study options?

We offer an in-course activity for students taking the course for credit which allows them to put their knowledge from the systematic review methodology lecture into practice with support & feedback both from tutors & other students. Specifically, we ask students to come up with their own research question & implement a search strategy before getting/providing peer feedback & reflecting on how they would now update their original search. As well as being vital for academic research projects such skills are also highly transferable, it is always important to know how to find, filter & interrogate different sources of information.

Each of the modules is also supported by an expert tutor who can answer questions from students. Typically tutors are either research active staff &/or experienced clinicians. As well as clearing up any points from the lectures this is also a great opportunity to find out more about related careers, how the course material used in practice & to identify potential project supervisors for those intending to pursue an MSc – I encourage all our students to make the most of it.

On the non-credit bearing course students get access to all of the course material without having to do the activity, or being tied to the standard timetable. As such it gives even more flexibility for those who are not able to commit to a formal programme of studies but who want to gain some knowledge about imaging, whether that is for CPD purposes, with a view to future studies or to help fill in any gaps in their own experience if they are working in imaging already or want to in future.

In either case the online learning platform allows students to learn flexibly around their existing commitments at a world-leading university & in a way that suits them.

 

  • What outcomes / what can you expect at the end of the ADIX / CLAP courses?

By the end of the ADIX/CLAP courses students will know the key stages of a systematic literature review & understand how to implement them for questions of interest. They will have a broad familiarity with different imaging modalities, imaging features of several conditions & be able to describe how imaging is used in relevant settings (for research or clinically). Upon completion students will be able to identify the most appropriate imaging modalities within particular contexts & what information this can tell them.

 

Find out more about our online short course in Applications in disease & how to apply, here.

 

Find out more about our online short course in Clinical applications via our news item, here.

 

 

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Applications in disease is a first year course in Edinburgh Imaging Academy’s post-graduate Neuroimaging for Research & PET-MR principles & applications degree programmes. It can also be taken not-for-credit as CPD / CME.

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