Knowledge Retention and Learning Benefits from Utilization of a Web-Based Learning Module Methodology for Pathology Training
Betty M Chung, Jane H James, John V Groth, John Lee, Stephen Sontag, Gregorio Chejfec, Elizabeth L Wiley. University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System, Chicago, IL; Edward Hines, Jr. Veterans Association Hospital, Hines, IL
Background: Recent trends in pathology education of medical students and residents has begun to progressively incorporate both passive and active learning digital technologies such as internet-based case studies, learning modules, and virtual microscopy. This trend is likely to continue with improvements in the capabilities of these technologies, the introduction of telepathology as a viable and more accepted diagnostic practice in clinical care, and greater-than-ever exposure with these technologies during post-graduate training. Pilot data from a previous study confirmed the utility of employing a web-based learning module format in resident training. However, whether repeated use of the same learning module by trainees confers additional expertise has not been studied.
Design: 50 representative examples of normal esophageal epithelium, dysplasia (indefinite, low grade, or high grade), and carcinoma were selected by expert pathologists for inclusion in a self-directed, web-based esophageal dysplasia learning module. Residents accessed the training powerpoint and pre- and post-tests, each containing 25 snapshot images, on the Blackboard learning environment in 2011 and 2012. Average percent correct answers on pre- and post-tests from both years and p-values via student's t-test were calculated and analyzed.
Results: This study found a significant increase in diagnostic expertise, defined as average percent correct answers, in first time users (pre-test: 55%, post-test: 75%; p: 5E-4) compared to repeat users (pre-test: 86%, post-test: 82%; p: 0.211) of this module. Repeat module users showed good memory retention and a significant increase in expertise from previous year's pre-test results (2011: 60%, 2012: 86%; p: 3E-6) but did not demonstrate added benefit from repeat use.
Conclusions: Results from this study would suggest that self-directed web-based learning modules are a valid and interactive methodology for pathology training. Our data supports that this method of training can result in retention of knowledge over time. However, we found that added benefit from repeat use of the same module is minimal or absent.
Monday, March 4, 2013 9:30 AM
Poster Session I Stowell-Orbison/Surgical Pathology/Autopsy Awards Poster Session # 73, Monday Morning