It’s a new chapter for the Medical Laboratory Technology program at Washington State Community College (WSCC). This fall, the program is going green.
Beginning in August, the Med Lab Tech (MLT) program will no longer rely on printed materials as part of its academic resources. Books, lab manuals, presentations, and notes will all be served electronically explained Steve Temesvary, Director of WSCC’s MLT program.
Temesvary described the transition to paperless as a step toward preparing students for the expectation of their future workplace. “Most facilities are doing away with manuals of paper policies and procedures and going with an electronic format. So [students] need to be comfortable with looking at their information on a computer screen versus a piece of paper.”
E-textbooks are considered by some to be the wave of the future because they deliver more robust content than their predecessor, the one dimensional textbook. With e-books, students can interact directly with the content as they are learning it. Interactions include watching related videos, taking interactive quizzes, and utilizing social note-taking, just to name a few.
Temesvary said the decision to pursue the digital delivery method was based on his personal experience working in the industry for nearly two decades. “Working in this field for 18 years, seeing the changes that have occurred in the laboratory and knowing where the future is going, I believe digital resources will be of the greatest benefit to our students and will be highly effective in our classrooms.”
Digital textbooks also come with a smaller price tag, as printing and shipping costs are eliminated from the equation. Typically e-books cost 30-50% less than printed textbooks, however Temesvary said with the purchase of the Apple iPad that he recommends, “over two years it will probably equate to a balance.” Additionally, like printed books, students have the option to rent e-books. Temesvary said in his research he found books for as little as $12 for a three-month rental.
Other paperless perks include versatility—“there are flash cards, games, and videos with every textbook that students can utilize as additional resources. This variety gives students more ways to learn,” Temesvary acknowledged. Digital also means students can carry a whole semester’s worth of e-textbooks around without needing heavy backpacks. And e-textbooks are also easy to search and navigate, making it easy to find specific information quickly and efficiently.
The MLT program is the first to go completely digital at WSCC, but Temesvary said his colleagues are watching him. “Going paperless is ideal for the MLT program. Would it fit other programs? That’s yet to be seen.”
For more than 45 years, Washington State Community College has provided residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley the opportunity to realize dreams, to enhance skills, and to broaden understanding. Whether you are a recent high school graduate or an adult student looking to move your life in a new direction, Washington State has the classes to suit your needs. For more information about Washington State Community College, visit www.wscc.edu or call 740.374.8716.