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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 191-198

e-Learning resources for ophthalmologists

1 Department of Glaucoma, Westend Eye Hospital, Cochin, Kerala, India
2 Department of Retina, Aravind Eye Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Department of Retina, Dr. NSD Raju's Eye Hospital and Research Centre, Tripunithura Road, Cochin, Kerala, India

Date of Submission28-Jun-2020
Date of Acceptance29-Jun-2020
Date of Web Publication25-Aug-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. John Davis Akkara
Glaucoma Department, Westend Eye Hospital, Chitoor Road, Kacheripady, Cochin - 682 018, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/kjo.kjo_92_20

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The Internet has made information available and accessible by all. Specialized knowledge of all sorts is now available literally at one's fingertips. The students of today may actually learn more online than in a conventional classroom. This is true in the medical field and in ophthalmology as well. The vast amount of high-quality multimedia content helps to augment the understanding of the subjects. In this article, we discuss the various types of e-learning resources available to ophthalmologists at present and review a handful of the best online ophthalmology resources.

Keywords: Apps, e-learning, podcasts, webinar, websites, YouTube channels

How to cite this article:
Akkara JD, Kuriakose A, Raju B. e-Learning resources for ophthalmologists. Kerala J Ophthalmol 2020;32:191-8

How to cite this URL:
Akkara JD, Kuriakose A, Raju B. e-Learning resources for ophthalmologists. Kerala J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Oct 25];32:191-8. Available from: http://www.kjophthal.com/text.asp?2020/32/2/191/293311

  Introduction Top

The use of electronic media, mainly the Internet, for the purpose of education has been a boon to many seeking higher education and knowledge.[1] e-Learning has been defined as “an educational method that facilitates learning by the application of information technology and communication providing an opportunity for learners to have access to all the required education programmes.”[2] Innovations in technology and devices have brought a revolution in the field of learning. Ophthalmology, being an image-rich specialty, has been known to adapt the latest and innovative digital technology, much ahead of other medical specialties. According to a study among the undergraduate medical students by Kakkanatt et al., e-learning has been shown to be more effective than conventional teaching methods in ophthalmology clinics.[3] Artificial intelligence and machine learning were first introduced in a big way in diabetic retinopathy by Google.[4] This article aims to highlight the important aspects and resources of e-learning in ophthalmology.

A collection of online resources in ophthalmology[5] made by ophthalmologists Dr. Pranesh Balasubramaniam and Dr. Subhashini Manoharan as a freely downloadable e-book (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ZfnUB-lVXudr27-N1oE5OZxD1R2BqynT/view) has been very useful in making the lists for this article, and I thank them for their contribution.

  Webinars Top

Webinars present a great virtual opportunity to engage and stimulate interactions between presenters and participants and can accommodate more participants than a physical conference room setting which could be limited by space and accessibility.[6]

Webinars provide participants the convenience of attending an academic presentation from the comfort of their offices or homes while multitasking. A successful webinar session is strongly dependent on the planning activities before the session, aligning the webinar theme to the expectation of the audience, user-friendly webinar platform, and the presenters' expertise and competence. Such webinars have to be announced well in advance and communicated through e-mail to the prospective audience.

To conduct a webinar, one needs a videoconferencing-enabled webinar hosting platform. Free and commercial platforms exist that may be suitable for streaming webinars and other interactive online events such as Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, Google Meet, Zoom, Adobe Connect, GoToMeeting, Vidyo, Mconf, Facebook Live, and YouTube Live. These platforms vary in the features they provide, and it is of value to compare and assess before committing to a platform.[7] Ideally, all the presenters and panelists are brought together in the selected videoconferencing platform, and all the attendees are in a view and listen mode with an option to ask questions with permission. Often, these are simulcasted live on YouTube Live and Facebook Live using multistreaming services for maximum reach among potential viewers.

Webinars allow the participants to interact with the presenter during the live streaming of the session, thus providing a platform for bilateral exchange of ideas. The All India Ophthalmological Society (AIOS) conducts webinars regularly, and each of these episodes are archived on the website.[8] The Cochin Ophthalmic Club also has some webinars on its YouTube channel.[9] Due to COVID-19 and the lockdown, several state, national, and international ophthalmology conferences have been canceled, postponed, or converted into virtual conferences.

Here are a few webinars for ophthalmologists:

Figure 1: Calendar from “events in ophthalmology” website showing the multitude of ophthalmology webinars scheduled for June 2020

Click here to view

  Websites Top

The Internet is a vast information superhighway and there are a lot of e-learning resources out there. Here are a few websites which have e-learning resources for ophthalmologists:

  • AIOC Proceedings (http://proceedings.aios.org) [Figure 2]
  • Figure 2: All India Ophthalmological Society proceedings website with the papers, posters, videos, instruction courses, and other sessions of All India ophthalmological Society annual conferences freely available

    Click here to view

    • The papers, posters, videos, instruction courses, and other sessions of the AIOS annual conferences. Invaluable resources are available completely free even if you are not a member of the society or attend the conferences. Registration is not required.

  • Moran CORE (https://morancore.utah.edu)

    • Clinical ophthalmology resource for education by the Moran Eye Center contains hours and hours of grand rounds, surgery videos, and clinical lectures.

  • EyeWiki (https://eyewiki.org)

    • Wikipedia of ophthalmology written collaboratively by ophthalmologists worldwide. If you find some topic missing or needs editing, you can request an account and start editing yourself. They also hold an annual contest with prizes for the best articles written by an ophthalmologist or trainee.[10]

  • eOphtha (https://eophtha.com)

    • An online portal for ophthalmologists, with hundreds of articles for residents about the subject as well as other aspects of residency and ophthalmology life. There are inspiring articles, interviews, and guides for tough situations in ophthalmology. There is also a section for PowerPoint presentations on various topics and guides to the fellowships available in India.

  • EyeLearn (https://www.eyelearn.in)

    • A guide for ophthalmology postgraduates with question banks, notes, articles, interviews, apps, and various other study resources.

  • Spotif-Eye Study group (https://www.spotifeyestudygroup.com) [Figure 3]
  • Figure 3: Spotif-EYE website by Dr. Shana Sood, which has spotters of various investigations in ophthalmology

    Click here to view

  • A quick and no-nonsense website for spotters in ophthalmology ideal for exam going ophthalmology residents. There are several scans and slides of various ocular conditions in optical coherence tomography (OCT) macula, fields, Pentacam, fundus fluorescein angiography, AS-OCT, B-scan, Orbscan, specular microscopy, and microbiology slides.

  • Success in MRCOphth by Prof Chua (http://www.mrcophth.com)

    • Study resources for MRCOphth, FRCS, FICO with multiple choice questions and notes on various clinical trials in ophthalmology.

  • OphthoBook by Tim Root (https://timroot.com/ophthobook)

    • Fun intro to ophthalmology by Dr. Timothy Root along with easy to understand videos.

  • RootAtlas by Tim Root (https://timroot.com/rootatlas)

    • Collection of fun and informative videos of ophthalmic conditions, procedures, and lectures by Dr. Timothy Root for ophthalmology residents.

  • Orbis Cybersight Online Courses (https://cybersight.org/online-learning) [Figure 4]
  • Figure 4: Free online ophthalmology courses (with certificates) from Orbis Cybersight

    Click here to view

    • Free online courses with modules and MCQ feedback where one can earn online certificates.

  • Atlas of Gonioscopy (http://gonioscopy.org)

    • Website by Dr. Wallace LM Alward, MD, dedicated to teaching gonioscopy through videos.

  • Muthusamy Virtual University of Post Graduate Ophthalmology (http://www.mvupgo.com)

    • Free and open university with multiple online courses to prepare for ICO, FRCS, and FRCOphth exams

  • EyeDocs (https://www.eyedocs.co.uk)

    • Online community for ophthalmologists with EyeQ question bank for exams and reviews of courses in the UK.

  • Ophthalmic Edge (https://ophthalmicedge.org/physician/courses)

    • A few online courses for ophthalmologists.

  • NOVEL (https://novel.utah.edu)

    • Neuro-Ophthalmology Virtual Education Library has several lectures and meeting proceedings of neuro-ophthalmology in audio and video format starting from 1970s.

  • Retina Image Bank (https://imagebank.asrs.org)

    • A free collaborative atlas of retina from the American Society of Retina Specialists.

  • AAO ONE Network (https://www.aao.org/education-browse)

    • The American Academy of Ophthalmology ophthalmic news and education network can be accessed for free by members of the AIOS by following the instructions in the AIOS website.[11]

  • Atlas of ophthalmology (https://www.atlasophthalmology.net)

    • Collaborative multilingual atlas of ophthalmology.

  • Eye Rounds (http://eyerounds.org)

    • Eye Rounds by the University of Iowa has clinical rounds, images, videos, and tutorials for ophthalmology residents.

  • e-Learning Resources-ICO (http://www.icoph.org/resources.html?topic_id = 28)

    • e-learning Resources from the International Council of Ophthalmology.

  • RPC Rounds (https://rpcround.wordpress.com/download/)

    • Ophthalmology resources including books by Dr. Dhaval Patel.

  • Iowa Glaucoma Curriculum (http://curriculum.iowaglaucoma.org)

    • Glaucoma lectures from the University of Iowa.

  • EyeGuru (https://eyeguru.org/residency-essentials)

    • Essentials for introduction to ophthalmology with practice images and video lectures.

  • AAO Retinoscopy Simulator (https://www.aao.org/interactive-tool/retinoscopy-simulator) [Figure 5]
  • Figure 5: Interactive retinoscopy simulator which runs on a laptop/desktop/smartphone from the American Academy of Ophthalmology

    Click here to view

    • Practice retinoscopy on virtual patients.

  • AAO Strabismus Simulator (https://www.aao.org/interactive-tool/strabismus-simulator)

    • Practice strabismus tests on virtual patients.

  • SquintMaster (http://squintmaster.com).

    • SquintMaster (strabismus software and website) by Dr. Sudhir Singh.

      Youtube Channels and Eyetube Top

    YouTube is the largest Internet video-sharing site and is a useful tool in social communication, advertising, and promoting learning resources to the public and students.

    How best to utilize video instruction of clinical procedures and their role in timely learning in clinical practice is a field yet to be fully explored. One study found that medical students could perform volar splinting better and faster when they had timely access to an instructional video.[12] Another study found that medical students and resident physicians performed better at chest tube insertion when they could use a mobile device for timely access to an instructional video.[13] Exploratory studies have looked into how this knowledge is appreciated and suggest that timely access to instructional videos cannot stand alone, but rather augment the overall learning experience.[14],[15] Learning technical skills may need hands-on experience and relevant feedback, which requires on-site teaching on patients or simulation training.

    Mayer and Moreno lay the groundwork for the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning, which is a framework for understanding multimedia-assisted learning from the learner's perspective.[16] According to the theory, images and sounds are channeled into working memory, which then integrates and organizes information for short- and long-term memory.[16] Mayer also suggested that the capacity of this system is limited and that learning outcome may depend on the presentation because learners can be overloaded with irrelevant details.[17] For example, highlighting essential material, eliminating extraneous material, and presenting words and pictures in combination rather than as words alone are all shown to significantly benefit learning.[17]

    EyeTube is dedicated to ophthalmology, so the content there is curated for ophthalmologists. However, being more accessible, there are several hundreds of YouTube channels useful to ophthalmologists both for learning the subject as well as surgical videos. To get started, we list a few of these channels here:

    Figure 6: 3D Surgical Videos from EyeTube 3D

    Click here to view
    Figure 7: Webinars, clinical videos, innovations, and other ophthalmic videos from AuroTube YouTube channel of Aravind Eye Hospital, Pondicherry

    Click here to view

      Apps Top

    This is the age of smartphones,[18] and there are several innovative and interactive smartphone apps that are useful learning resources for ophthalmologists.[19] There are apps that teach anatomy, some in 3D and some in virtual reality. There are apps for learning clinical information, mnemonics, grading systems, surgical skills, and more.

    Here are a few of the e-learning apps for ophthalmologists:

    Figure 8: Interactive 3D model of the eye in the app “My Eye Anatomy”

    Click here to view
    Figure 9: 3D Atlas of Ophthalmology which has Red-Blue Anaglyphs, side-by-side stereo photographs, and parallax movement clinical photographs of the eye along with 3D surgical videos

    Click here to view

      Podcasts Top

    A podcast is an online audio resource which is typically published as a series, and this medium is useful in certain scenarios when you want to make maximum use of time. It is particularly useful while driving or working out, when reading or watching videos is not possible, but you can still listen. There are several interesting ophthalmology podcasts, some of which are dedicated to teaching the subject, some catch up on ophthalmic news, while others interview leading ophthalmologists, innovators, and industry leaders.

    To get started, you can download a podcast streaming app such as Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Podcast Addict, or Stitcher.

    Here are a few Ophthalmology Podcasts that we recommend: [Figure 10]
    Figure 10: Various podcasts in ophthalmology seen on Google Podcasts App on Smartphone

    Click here to view

      E-Books Top

    Even though paperback and hardbound books have their place, the convenience and other advantages of e-books are make them suited for ophthalmology residents. e-Book versions are available for almost all the major textbooks, and they are often stored in every ophthalmology resident's laptop or tablet computer for quick reference. They make it easier to carry around all the necessary books instead of lugging around heavy books. They help in easy searching for particular topics and quick preparation of student lectures. In addition to the standard textbooks which are available for purchase, there are several other books that have been made freely available online by their authors.

      Conclusion Top

    Ophthalmologists have always been at the forefront in using the latest technology. Even in the e-learning space, there are a lot of valuable online resources that would be very useful for a fresh ophthalmology resident and the practicing ophthalmologist as well. This article covers a few of the available resources at this moment. Hope the ophthalmic community collaborates further to contribute to this wonderful era of teaching and learning.

    Financial support and sponsorship


    Conflicts of interest

    There are no conflicts of interest.

      References Top

    Bandhu SD, Raje S. Experiences with E-learning in Ophthalmology. Indian J Ophthalmol 2014;62:792-4.  Back to cited text no. 1
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    Golband F, Hosseini AF, Mojtahedzadeh R, Mirhosseini F, Bigdeli S. The correlation between effective factors of e-learning and demographic variables in a post-graduate program of virtual medical education in Tehran University of Medical Sciences. Acta Med Iran 2014;52:860-4.  Back to cited text no. 2
    Kakkanatt AC, Kuriakose A, Sasidharan A, John A, Gopinath G. Comparison of e-learning and conventional bed side teaching for medical students in ophthalmology. Ophthalmology 2017;1:11.  Back to cited text no. 3
    Akkara JD, Kuriakose A. Role of artificial intelligence and machine learning in ophthalmology. Kerala J Ophthalmol 2019;31:150.  Back to cited text no. 4
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    Balasubramaniam P, Manoharan S. Online Resources in Ophthalmology. Available from: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ZfnUB-lVXudr27-N1oE5OZxD1R2BqynT/view?usp=sharing&usp=embed_facebook. [Last accessed on 2020 Jun 27].  Back to cited text no. 5
    Pavelin K, Pundir S, Cham JA. Ten simple rules for running interactive workshops. PLoS Comput Biol 2014;10:e1003485.  Back to cited text no. 6
    Fadlelmola FM, Panji S, Ahmed AE, Ghouila A, Akurugu WA, Entfellner JB, et al. Ten simple rules for organizing a webinar series. PLOS Comput Biol 2019;15:e1006671.  Back to cited text no. 7
    Webinars All India Ophthalmological Society. Available from: https://www.aios.org/article-127-webinars.php. [Last acessed on 2020 Jun 26].  Back to cited text no. 8
    Cochin Ophthalmic Club. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/CochinOphthalmicClub. [Last accessed on 2020 Jun 26].  Back to cited text no. 9
    International Ophthalmologists – EyeWiki. Available from: https://eyewiki.org/International_Ophthalmologists. [Last accessed on 2020 Jun 27].  Back to cited text no. 10
    Access AAO ONE Network from AIOS Membership. Available from: https://www.aios.org/article-51-one-network.php. [Last accessed on 2020 Jun 27].  Back to cited text no. 11
    Cheng YT, Liu DR, Wang VJ. Teaching splinting techniques using a just-in-time training instructional video. Pediatr Emerg Care 2017;33:166-70.  Back to cited text no. 12
    Davis JS, Garcia GD, Wyckoff MM, Alsafran S, Graygo JM, Withum KF, et al. Use of mobile learning module improves skills in chest tube insertion. J Surg Res 2012;177:21-6.  Back to cited text no. 13
    Hardyman W, Bullock A, Brown A, Carter-Ingram S, Stacey M. Mobile technology supporting trainee doctors' workplace learning and patient care: An evaluation. BMC Med Educ 2013;13:6.  Back to cited text no. 14
    Kamdar G, Kessler DO, Tilt L, Srivastava G, Khanna K, Chang TP, et al. Qualitative evaluation of just-in-time simulation-based learning: The learners' perspective. Simul Healthc 2013;8:43-8.  Back to cited text no. 15
    Mayer RE, Moreno R. Nine Ways to Reduce Cognitive Load in Multimedia Learning; 2003.  Back to cited text no. 16
    Mayer RE. Applying the science of learning to medical education. Med Educ 2010;44:543-9.  Back to cited text no. 17
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      [Full text]  


      [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6], [Figure 7], [Figure 8], [Figure 9], [Figure 10]


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