Computers in Health Science Education
Uses and How to Use Them

Reynaldo O. Joson, MD, MHA, MHPEd, MS Surg

Step by Step Instructions

on How To Operate a Computer

  1. Get hold of a desktop computer system with a Windows95 program installed and with a connection to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) in your community.
  2. Identify the 3 essential parts or hardwares of the desktop computer system.
    1. Printer
    2. Monitor
    3. Central Processing Unit
  3. Turn on the electrical power of the computer.
    1.  Central Processing Unit
    2. Monitor
    3. Printer
  4. Turn off the electrical power of the printer first since we will not be using it yet.
  5. On the monitor screen, look at the several icons with corresponding labels which represent the software programs that are present in the computer. Software programs are the parts that you use to drive the computer to perform certain tasks. Note the difference between softwares and hardwares which consist of the printer, monitor, and central processing unit.
  6. Locate the "START" box at the left lower corner of the screen. If it is not visible, use the mouse to bring the cursor to that particular area and the "START" box will pop out.
  7. Click on the "START" box and a list of programs will pop out just above it.
  8. Look for "PROGRAMS" in this said list and place the cursor on it and you will see another list of programs popping out on the side.
  9. Identify the following software programs in the list that pops out after you pointed to "PROGRAMS":
    • Windows Explorer
    • Accessories
    • Microsoft Word
    • Internet Mail
    • Internet Explorer
    • Netscape Navigator

    Note down which of the above programs are present and which are not.

    Don't mind the other programs that you see for the moment. I am sure there are lot more than the 6 that I enumerated.

  10. You should be able to locate "Windows Explorer" because it is present in all Windows95 program. It is the main directory or what they call file manager of the computer. Click on it and take a quick look at the directory. Look only. Don't play with it at the moment. Then close it by clicking on the "X" box at the right upper corner.
  11. We will now take a quick look at a word processing software that may be present in your computer. We use a word processing software program to create documents or files. If you find "Microsoft Word," that's it, it is the most popular word processing software program at present in the market. Don't bother with the "Accessories" anymore if you have "Microsoft Word." If you don't have "Microsoft Word" in your computer, place the cursor on "Accessories" and a list of program will pop out again. In this list, look for "WordPad," which is also a word processing software program which you can use. Click on "WordPad" and take a quick look at the empty file where you can type in anything you want. If you have "Microsoft Word," click on it and take a quick look at the empty file. Look only. Don't play with it at the moment. We will come back to this word processing program after you have 1) searched the Internet for "Uses of Computers in Health Science Education" and 2) composed your manuscript with the same title. Click on the "X" box at the right upper corner to close either the "WordPad" or "Microsoft Word," whichever you have previously opened.
  12. At this point, let me show you first how to turn off the computer system. Make sure to close all files projected on the screen by clicking on the "X" box at the right upper corner before you shut off your computer. Once all files have been closed, the screen will look like the one that you saw when you turned on the computer earlier, that is, with icons of programs and with the "START" box at the left lower corner. Click on "START." Then click on "SHUT DOWN" on the list that pops out. Then click on "YES" to the question "Are you sure you want to shut down the computer?"
  13. I am showing you how to turn off the computer so that you can do this anytime you feel frustrated or tired. I hope frustration will not always be a reason for shutting down the computer. Even if you are frustrated, make sure you shut it down properly. Okay? Now, turn on the computer again. Repeat the appropriate instructions that I gave earlier.
  14. We will now connect the computer to an Internet Service Provider (ISP). You need the help of the owner of the computer to do this. Note the owner must know how to connect to the ISP. Essentially, one way to do this is to place the cursor on "Accessories" and then look for "Dial-up Networking" on the list that pops out. Click on "Dial-up Networking" and a box entitled "Dial-up Networking" will pop out. In this box, if there is an icon of the ISP, click on it. If not, click on "My Connection." After clicking on either the icon of an ISP or "My Connection," a box with a title of "My Connection" will appear. If the computer is yours, type in your password and click on "Connect."
  15. After you have connected the computer to the ISP, I suggest the first thing that we do is to know how to use the email program. Why? Because after knowing how to turn it on, if you encounter problems with the self-instructional program or step-by-step instructions on how to use the computer, and if don't have anybody nearby to help you, email me right away for help. To open the email program, click on the "START" box at the left lower corner of the screen. Then click on "PROGRAMS," then "Internet Mail." The "Internet Mail" box will appear.
  16. To send me a letter, click on "New Message" at the Menu Bar. A mail form will appear with the title "New Message." In the "To" box, type in my email address: In the "Subject" box, type in "progress report," and then type a message in the space provided below the Menu Bar. After you have typed in a short message, click on the "send" icon, the one containing a flying envelop. If you type in my email address correctly and click on the "send" icon correctly, you can be sure your mail will be in my mail box within one minute.
  17. Try this sending email exercise that will show you the immediate effect of your effort. Click on "New Message" at the Menu Bar again. In the "To" box, type in your email address, if you have one. If not, type in the email address of the owner of the computer you are using. In the "Subject" box, type in "Hello to Myself." In the space below the Menu Bar, type in "Hello, I am doing fine with my computer exercises." Then, click on the "send" icon. After you have sent it, wait for one minute, try to retrieve the message that you sent to yourself. To do this, in the Menu Bar, click on "Send and Receive." In one minute, you should receive the email that you have just sent to yourself. If you have any problems at this moment and from here on, just email me. If I happen to be opening my mailbox right after you have sent me an email, you sure will be receiving help in one or two minutes. Otherwise, you just have to wait. I usually open my email box on a once a day basis.
  18. We are now ready to surf the Internet. For this program, we will go to my website, Medline, and AltaVista. To surf the Internet, we need to open a "browser." There are two commonly used browsers. One is "Internet Explorer" and the other is "Netscape Navigator." Which one does your computer have? Either one will do. To open a browser, click on the "START" box. Then point to "PROGRAMS." Then look for either "Internet Explorer" or "Netscape Navigator." If neither is present, then you cannot surf the Internet. I am confident one is present, especially, "Internet Explorer."
  19. Click on either "Internet Explorer" or "Netscape Navigator." A box or file entitled "Microsoft Internet Explorer" or "Netscape" will pop out depending which browser you click on earlier. In the "Microsoft Internet Explorer" file, you will see the word "Address" with a box adjacent to it. On the other hand, in the "Netscape" file, you will see the word "Location" with a box adjacent to it. It is into the box adjacent to either "Address" or "Location" that we will type in the address of my website, Medline, and AltaVista.
  20. We will start with my website. Type into the said box and press the "Enter" on the keyboard. In a few seconds, assuming you typed in the address correctly, you will see the frontpage of my website entitled: "Education for Health Development in the Philippines." Do you see it? Look at the whole page. At the bottom part of the page, you will see among other items "Health Profession Education." Double-click on this. The frontpage of "Health Profession Education" will appear on the screen. In this page, click on "Use of Computers in Health Sciences Education - A Basic Self-Instructional Program." What you will see afterwards is the computer or online version of the printed self-instructional program that you have in front of you right now. Scan through it. We will come back to this self-instructional program after we have gone to Medline and AltaVista. However, make sure to fill up the Preprogram Assessment Form before you exit "Use of Computers in Health Science Education."
  21. To go to Medline, again in the "Address" or "Location" box, erase whatever address you see there at the moment and then type in Then, press "Enter" on the keyboard. In the form that will appear, look for the boxes under "Search." In the uppermost box, type in "Computers." In the second box, type in Uses in Health Science Education." Then scroll down or go down the page and you will see "in increments of" with an adjacent box that contains an Arabic number. If the number is not 50, erase that number and type in "50." Then scroll down further and you will see "Limit references to" and click on the boxes adjacent to "Published in English," "Abstracts Available," and "Pertaining to humans." On the "Limit date range to," click on the button adjacent to "Published between" and change 1997 to 1966. Scroll down again and click on "retrieve documents." Then, wait for the titles of papers to appear.
  22. How many titles do you see? Note down the number because you need to give it to me in the Postprogram Assessment form. Look through each of them and select by clicking the box adjacent to each title to see the abstract of the paper. I suggest you get the abstracts of all the papers since there are only a few papers. Down the page, click on "Retrieve Selected References." Wait for the abstracts to appear and then read through them to get ideas for your paper on "Uses of Computers on Health Science Education."
  23. Let us now go to AltaVista. This is a general search engine. Again in the "Address" or "Location" box, type in then click "Enter."
  24. In the "Search For" box, type in "Uses of Computers in Health Sciences Education" and then click on "search." What you will get are titles and addresses of webpages on the topic. Note down the number because you will submit this figure to me as a proof that you have done this part of the learning activities. Scan through the titles and double-click on the ones in which you are interested to see the content.
  25. After you are through with AltaVista, go back to my website: and scan through the webpages to get ideas on how I am using the computer for health science education. After you are through, disconnect the computer from the ISP by clicking on the computer icon at the right lower corner of the screen. A box will pop out. Click on "Disconnect."
  26. Are you ready to compose your paper entitled: "Uses of Computers in Health Science Education?" If you are, reopen "Microsoft Word" or "WordPad." I assume you know how to do this already. If you need to review, go to the appropriate instructions above. Remember to follow the required format in writing the manuscript.

    Uses of Computers in Health Science Education

    Name of Student

    I. Introduction

    II. Body

    III. Closing

    IV. References (a must)

  27. After you have opened a word processing program, type in your text just like you are using an ordinary typewriter. I assume you know how to type. I leave it up to you to play around with the word processing program. However, I would suggest for the moment, focus on the alignment and changing of size of font and, if there is a need to do these, underlining, italicizing, and bolding of letters. Look at the Menu Bar for these functions. "B" - stands for Bold; "I" - Italic; and "U" - Underline. Place the cursor in "B" and see the "Bold" tag that pops out. Do the same for "I" and see what happens. Place the cursor on the number, usually no. 10, to the left of the "B" and tag that shows "font size" will pop out. Change the font size to 12 either by erasing "10" and then typing "12" or just click on the arrow adjacent to "10" and then click on "12." The boxes to the right of "U" contain the alignment commands. Play around with it.
  28. After you have typed in the text, do the following:
    1. Save it by clicking on the icon on the Menu Bar that shows a floppy disk. A box with the title "Saved as" will appear. You will be asked for the file name that you will use to identify your file. You can use any name you want. For the moment, type in "compuse." Are you confused already? Ha! Ha! Joke only. The other question which you have to decide is where to save the file. For the moment, I will teach you how to save it in the hard disk and in a floppy disk.
    2. To save your file in a hard disk, in the "save in" box, click on the arrow and then click on "(C)" under "My Computer." The "(C)" will apppear automatically inside the box. Then click on "save".
    3. To save your file in a floppy disk, you must have a floppy disk inserted inside Drive A. To look for Drive A, look for an area in front of the central processing unit (CPU) where a floppy disk can fit and inserted into. The other drive that is usually seen in front of the CPU is the disc drive or CD-ROM drive. So, to save your file in a floppy disk, in the "save in" box, click on the arrow and click on "3 Floppy (A)" under "My Computer." The "3 Floppy (A)" will automatically appear inside the box. Then click on "save."
    4. The next thing that we will do is to print your file. Turn on the power of the printer. Place papers on the paper holder. Then look at the Menu Bar on the screen. You will see the printer icon. Click it. In a few minutes, the printer should start printing your file. If there is any dialoque box with regards the printing job, just answer the questions accordingly.
    5. To close your file, click on "X" box at the right upper corner of the screen. Close it now because I will show you how to retrieve it.
    6. To retrieve your file, click on "START", then "PROGRAMS", then "Window Explorer." In the left box of the Window Explorer, using the arrows to scroll up and down, look for and click "3 Floppy (A)" or "(C)", wherever you previously saved your file. Then look at the right box. Look for "compuse." Double-click it and expect the entire text of your file to reappear on the screen. Now close your file by clicking on "X" on the right upper corner.

    There are two more things that we will have to do to complete the program.

  29. Connect the computer to the ISP again. Open a browser and type in the "Address" or "Location" box. Accomplish the Postprogram Assessment Form then press the "submit" button. The other thing that you have to do is to fill up the Student's Assessment of the Self-Instructional Program and then press "submit" button. If you have difficulty submitting the two prepared forms, email me so that I can send you forms that can be easily sent back to me.
  30. The last thing to do is to go back to your email box and send me your manuscript. Open the email box. Click on "New Message." Type in after "To" and "Manuscript on Use of Computers in Health Science Education" after "Subject." Write me a short note on how you feel at the end of this program and your experience in distance learning. After this note, click on "clip" icon at the Menu Bar which carries a tag of "insert file." A box entitled "Insert Attachment" will appear. In the "Look In" box, click on the arrow to locate either "3 Floppy (A)" or "(C)" depending on where you placed and saved your "compuse" file. Then, in the file name box, type in "compuse." Then click on "attach." Then, click on the "send" icon.
  31. After you have insured that you have sent me everything that you need to send me, you may now turn off the computer.
  32. Take a rest. Go back to the computer tomorrow or the day after for your continuing education on the use of computers as well as on health science education.


Thanks for being a very patient and obedient learner.

I enjoyed being your facilitator.

 Reynaldo O. Joson, MD, MHA, MHPEd, MS Surg

Go to Uses of Computers in Health Science Education

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