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Using an Audience Response System Smartphone App to Improve Resident Education in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit


In the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), most teaching occurs during bedside rounds, but technology now provides new opportunities to enhance education. Specifically, smartphone apps allow rapid communication between instructor and student. We hypothesized that using an audience response system (ARS) app can identify resident knowledge gaps, guide teaching, and enhance education in the PICU. Third-year pediatric residents rotating through the PICU participated in ARS-based education or received traditional teaching. Before rounds, experimental subjects completed an ARS quiz using the Socrative app. Concomitantly, the fellow leading rounds predicted quiz performance. Then, discussion points based on the incorrect answers were used to guide instruction. Scores on the pre-rotation test were similar between groups. On the post-rotation examination, ARS participants did not increase their scores more than controls. The fellow's prediction of performance was poor. Residents felt that the method enhanced their education whereas fellows reported that it improved their teaching efficiency. Although there was no measurable increase in knowledge using the ARS app, it may still be a useful tool to rapidly assess learners and help instructors provide learner-centered education.

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