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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Obstetric Ultrasound - A Comprehensive Guide

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4.5 stars
Content Quality: 4.5 stars
Effectiveness: 4.5 stars
Ease of Use: 4 stars
Reviewed: Feb 27, 2006 by Psychology
Overview: This website contains a wealth of materials, from history to recent advances,
relating to the use of ultrasonography in pregnancy. The author, Dr. Joseph
Woo, developed this web site in 1995 because he felt there was a need for
accurate information about ultrasonography among the general public.
Learning Goals: After reading through this web site, one should have a better understanding of
what obstetric ultrasounds are; why and when they are used in pregnancy; what
transvaginal scans, doppler ultrasound, and 3-D ultrasounds are; how often
ultrasounds should be scheduled; and safety issues in ultrasonography.
Target Student Population: According to Dr. Woo, pages on this website are intended primarily for the
reading of fathers- and mothers-to-be. However, he believes that students,
medical practitioners and other healthcare workers may also find the information
useful. The pages are probably most appropriate for students in the areas of
biology, physiological psychology, child development, and nursing. It should be
noted, however, that the emphasis is on the technical elements of the
ultrasound.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: No prerequisite knowledge or skills are needed.
Type of Material: This website is a presentation consisting of a collection of articles and images
related to ultrasonography as well as referrals to a number of other websites
on, or closely related to, the topic.
Recommended Uses: In an academic setting, this website could be used by instructors to increase or
refresh their knowledge of prenatal development and diagnostic techniques.
Students of biology, physiological psychology, child development, or nursing
could use the website for the same purposes; they also could be sent to the site
to answer questions for an out-of-class assignment or use the site as a paper
reference.
Technical Requirements: A few of the images in the photo gallery are Quicktime movies. There also are
some audio files (for which one would need speakers and the Quicktime software
to play them).

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: Dr. Woo is an expert in the field of ultrasonography and the information
provided on this website is of top quality. Some of the material Dr. Woo wrote
himself; in other cases, he provides links to many excellent articles and
websites on the Internet. It has been ranked as a top website by both Lycos and
Google. In addition, it has been rated as a best site by the National Science
Teachers Association and has received an outstanding achievement award by
OBGYN.net.
Concerns: There is no indication of when the site was last updated; there are a
substantial number of links to external websites that are no longer viable. The
site is technical in focus, which may not be what the visitor is looking for.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: There are a number of aspects of this site that would make it an effective
teaching tool. There is a wealth of information including the history of
ultrasonography, news articles on ultrasound examination in pregnancy, and
answers to common questions about ultrasonography (including a special FAQ page
on the gender of the fetus). Of particular interest to developmental
psychologists is the catalog of web pages describing particular abnormalities
diagnosable by ultrasound and by a news article on the correction of spina
bifida in the womb. Both within and outside of the site, there are some great
ultrasonographic pictures of fetuses. The photo gallery also contains some
quick time movies of fetuses. It is possible as well to hear fetal
heart sounds recorded on a doppler device.
Concerns: The number of non-working links is a major concern. Additionally,
Dr. Woo intentionally wrote materials on the site in medical terms instead of
layman terms in order to raise standards of health education. This amount of
medical terminology may prevent some undergraduate students from making full use
of the site.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: The site is well-organized and well-written with links to explanatory material
from the main page. As it consists of only text and images, there isn't really
anything that could be difficult to use. There is also a search tool on the
main page so that information can be found quickly and easily.
Concerns: The medical terminology may be difficult for some undergraduate
students to wade through. PDF files may also be problematic at times.

Other Issues and Comments: