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Ann Intern Med. 2000 Jun 20;132(12):938-46.

Self-study from web-based and printed guideline materials. A randomized, controlled trial among resident physicians.

Author information

  • 1University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Resarch, 90095-1736, USA. sageguery@gim.med.ucla.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

On-line physician education is increasing, but its efficacy in comparison with existing self-study methods is unknown.

OBJECTIVE:

To compare knowledge, learning efficiency, and learner satisfaction produced by self-study of World Wide Web-based and print-based guidelines for care after acute myocardial infarction.

DESIGN:

Randomized, controlled trial.

SETTING:

12 family medicine and internal medicine residency programs at four universities.

PARTICIPANTS:

162 residents.

INTERVENTIONS:

In proctored sessions, participants were randomly assigned to study from printed materials or from SAGE (Self-Study Acceleration with Graphic Evidence), a Web-based tutorial system. Both methods used identical self-assessment questions and answers and guideline text, but SAGE featured hyperlinks to specific guideline passages and graphic evidence animations.

MEASUREMENTS:

Scores on multiple-choice knowledge tests, score gain per unit of study time, and ratings on a learner satisfaction scale.

RESULTS:

Immediate post-test scores on a 20-point scale were similar in the SAGE and control groups (median score, 15.0 compared with 14.5; P>0.2), but SAGE users spent less time studying (median, 27.0 compared with 38.5 minutes; P<0.001) and therefore had greater learning efficiency (median score gain, 8.6 compared with 6.7 points per hour; P = 0.04). On a scale of 5 to 20, SAGE users were more satisfied with learning (median rating, 17.0 compared with 15.0; P<0.001). After 4 to 6 months, knowledge had decreased to the same extent in the SAGE and control groups (median score, 12.0 compared with 11.0; P = 0.12).

CONCLUSIONS:

On-line tutorials may produce greater learning efficiency and satisfaction than print materials do, but one self-study exposure may be insufficient for long-term knowledge retention. Further research is needed to identify instructional features that motivate greater final learning and retention.

Comment in

PMID:
10858176
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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