Leveraging time and learning style, iPod vs. realtime attendance at a series of medicine residents conferences: a randomised controlled trial

Michael Tempelhof, Katherine Garman, Matthew Langman, Martha Adams


Objective To determine whether participation in educational conferences utilising iPod technology enhances both medical knowledge and accessibility to educational content among medical residents in training.
Design/measurements In May 2007, the authors led a randomised controlled study involving 30 internal medicine residents who volunteered either to attend five midday educational conferences or to use an iPod audio/video recording of the same conferences, each followed by a five-question competency quiz. Primary outcomes included quantitative assessment of knowledge acquisition and qualitative assessment of resident perception of ease of use. Secondary outcomes included resident perception of self-directed learning.
Results At baseline, residents reported attendance at 50% of educational conferences. Of iPod participants, 46.7% previously used an iPod. During the study, 46_60% of conference attendees were paged out of each conference, of whom between 6 and 33% missed more than half of the conference. The quiz completion rate was 93%. Key findings were:
1) similar quiz scores were achieved by conference attendees, mean 60.7% (95% CI; 53.0_68.3%), compared to the iPod user group, mean 67.6% (95% CI; 61%_74.1%), and
2) the majority (10/15, 66.6%) of conference attendees stated they would probably benefit from the option to refer back to conferences for content review and educational purposes.
Conclusions Residency training programmes can optimise time management strategies with the integration of innovative learning resources into educational curricula. This study suggests that iPod capture of conferences is a reasonable resource to help meet the educational goals of residents and residency programs.


electronic curricula; iPod; resident education

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14236/jhi.v17i2.720


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