Videoconferencing of a national program for residents on evidence-based practice: early performance evaluation.
O'Connor, Owen J
Maher, Michael M
AffiliationDepartment of Radiology, Cork University Hospital, Cork, Ireland.
Internship and Residency
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CitationVideoconferencing of a national program for residents on evidence-based practice: early performance evaluation. 2010, 7 (2):138-45 J Am Coll Radiol
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology : JACR
AbstractThe aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the medium of videoconferencing for the delivery of a course for radiology residents in practice-based learning (PBL), including evidence-based practice, at centers geographically separated from the principal teaching site.
Twenty-one participants (second-year radiology residents) at 8 centers in a radiology training program were included. The course in PBL was delivered over 16 weekly 1-hour sessions. There were 8 local education site coordinators (staff radiologists), who had completed an intensive 1-day course at the principal teaching site. The host site was linked to the participant sites using videoconferencing technology. Course evaluation included 1) a 5-point Likert-type scale and an open-ended evaluation questionnaire midway through the course (week 8) and a summation questionnaire after its completion (week 16) and 2) a consultation forum held during the penultimate session. The data responses to the questionnaires were entered in a spreadsheet, and the data were analyzed. Qualitative data were manually coded and analyzed for common themes. Descriptive statistical analyses were performed.
Eighty-five percent of evaluation questionnaires and 53% of summation questionnaires were returned. The overall satisfaction of the participants with course content was high, with median rating of 4 on the 5-point scale. All participants agreed that videoconferencing as a medium did not hinder adequate discussion among centers and worked well as an interactive teaching method (median, 4). Local coordinators were satisfied with local technical support and training (median, 4), and overall, the module was rated highly, with ratings of 4 from both residents and local coordinators. Seventy-one percent of residents and 86% of local coordinators reported that they would have been unable to participate in the course without videoconferencing. All participants completed the course requirements satisfactorily. The overall rating of audio quality was good (median, 4), but there was dissatisfaction with the quality of the visual aids used. Comments reflected a desire for a shorter, more condensed course; improvement of the quality of visual aids; and more emphasis on research appraisal.
Although videoconferencing is a valuable educational tool and works well as a didactic teaching method, challenges with interactive discussion between centers require further exploration. This technology allows the inclusion of trainers and trainees who may otherwise be unable to participate. In multicenter programs, this can be fundamental to the feasibility and sustainability of educational programs in newer competencies, for which a lack of a critical mass of educators and students can be problematic for individual centers.