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There is a great variability in size and quality of the teaching file, our 5 favorite teaching files are:


From the experience gained from viewing these teaching files we compiled a list of do's and don'ts for teaching file authors.

Regarding text formats; the following guidelines apply.

  • The text should be descriptive and informative. There is no need to skimp on the words; they take almost no time to download.
  • Try to supply references, link your references to PubMed, to provide the abstracts of your refences.
  • Know your audience. If you audience is beginning radiologists or students, then aim the discussion at basics. If your cases are aimed at practicing radiologists, clearly different content is required.

Regarding images, the most important factor in Web-based teaching files:

  • Image size on the screen does not necessarily equal image file download size.
  • Web images are not to be used for a final radiology report. Therefore, the images need only be large enough to clearly demonstrate the finding of interest.
  • Thumbnail images are a waste of time. Inline images are the most efficient way to display images and are preferable to placing just links to the images.
  • JPEG images usually are smaller and take less time to download than GIFs. In general, image quality is not significantly different, but download times are.
  • Do not put more images than necessary to make the teaching point.   A teaching file page should ideally consist of one or two, and no more than four images.
  • Consider that users have some, but not a lot, of patience. Expert web page designers recommend that a web page take up no more than 30k in order to not lose the site visitor's interest. Due to the greater dependence on images in radiology, We feel that up to page sizes from 80-100k (requiring approximately a 30 second download time on a 28.8 modem) can. If you cannot condense all your images to less than 100k, rethink your approach.

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