The integration of online resources and social media into higher education and continued professional development is an increasingly common phenomenon.Objective
To describe the usage of various traditional and modern educational resources by members of the divisions of emergency medicine at Stellenbosch University and the University of Cape Town.Methods
Members affiliated with the divisions during 2014 were invited to participate in an online survey. Participants were given 8 weeks to complete the questionnaire; with weekly reminders until they responded or the deadline expired. Summary statistics were used to describe the variables.Results
Eighty-seven divisional members completed the survey (69.6% response rate). The resources most preferred were textbooks (n=78, 89.7%), open access educational resources (n=77, 88.5%) and journals (n=76, 87.4%). Emergency medicine trainees (n=31, 92.1%) and respondents ≤30 years (n=17, 94.4%) were more inclined to use social media. International Emergency Medicine and Critical Care blogs are frequently being used by 71% of respondents. YouTube (35%) and podcasts (21%) were the most commonly used multimedia resources. Computers (desktop and laptop) were most frequently used to access educational resources except for social media where smart phones were preferred.Conclusions
The use of modern and electronic resources is relatively common, but traditional educational resources are still preferred. This study illustrates an opportunity for greater integration of online resources and social media in educational activities to enhance multimodal and self-directed learning. Specific training in the use of these resources and how to appraise them may further improve their utility.