Both the World Health Organisation and the World Federation for Medical Education have endorsed integration of computer technology into medical education. In line with this and for more practical reasons, second-year medical students were introduced to commercial and inhouse computer-aided instruction (CAI) packages in the traditional histology course. Although CAI was well received, light microscopy was still regarded as a valuable skill in the undergraduate curriculum. Its application was viewed to be important in future medical studies, as well as in general practice. It was also perceived to be a more self-directed form of learning than CAI. Students' use of CAI packages was related to CAI meeting course objectives and the level of interactivity.