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Acad Med. 2009 Sep;84(9):1269-75. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181b18b21.

Evaluation of the use of an interactive, online resource for competency-based curriculum development.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas 77555-1119, USA.



To evaluate pediatric educators' use of and satisfaction with the Academic Pediatric Association's Educational Guidelines for Pediatric Residency.


The authors used customized programming to document all registered users and downloaded files from the Guidelines Web site for a 30-month period after site completion. An online survey of volunteer users was conducted.


Between July 2005 and December 2007, 1,747 individuals registered on the Web site, and 8,754 files were downloaded. Registrants who downloaded files (n = 1,239) represented 97% of the pediatric residency programs in 2008 that were approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. During 30 months, the frequency of downloads remained robust, peaking each spring. Curriculum-building tools were downloaded by 97% of programs using the site; the majority chose predesigned formats rather than self-selected lists of goals and objectives. Resident evaluation forms and tutorials were downloaded less frequently. A survey was completed by 111 site users, who indicated that the Guidelines tools were useful for Residency Review Committee site visit preparation. Most respondents said that the curriculum-building tools were easy to use, adaptable, and helpful in integration of competencies into residency programs. Respondents rated tutorials highly for educational content and clarity.


The data collection methods offer a practical strategy for evaluating access to online curriculum development tools. The majority of U.S. pediatric residency programs have accessed Guidelines' resources for curriculum development; patterns of use have been sustained over time. Most users preferred the predesigned versions of the materials. Users surveyed found the tools useful for planning rotations and integrating competencies into their programs and reported high satisfaction with the Guidelines.

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