Electronic Learning–Spaced Education to Facilitate Resident Knowledge and Guide Program Didactics

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the use of mobile technology to facilitate resident learning, assess clinical knowledge, and guide curricular development in a busy clinical environment.

METHODS:

This was a cross-sectional study conducted in a large (N=48) urban obstetrics and gynecology residency program. Question sets were created in the following areas: office gynecology, general obstetrics, gynecologic surgery and urogynecology, maternal–fetal medicine and ultrasonography, reproductive endocrinology and pediatric gynecology, and gynecologic oncology. Using an educational mobile application (app), questions were sent monthly to resident smartphones with immediate feedback on answer accuracy along with answer explanation and references. Outcomes included app use, which was determined by how quickly participants answered questions (very active–active indicates questions answered within 7 days) and proficiency (mean percentage correct) calculated for individuals, resident class level, and by content area.

RESULTS:

All 48 residents participated and 77.4% were very active or active app users. On average, participants answered correctly 61.0% on the first attempt and improved to 78.3% on repeat attempt (P<.001). Proficiency was lowest for gynecologic surgery and highest for general obstetrics.

CONCLUSION:

A mobile app to support e-learning was successfully implemented in our program; its use was associated with knowledge retention and identification of low-proficiency topics to guide curriculum development.

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