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AEM Educ Train ; 6(1): e10718, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1669353


Background: COVID necessitated the shift to virtual resident instruction. The challenge of learning via virtual modalities has the potential to increase cognitive load. It is important for educators to reduce cognitive load to optimize learning, yet there are few available tools to measure cognitive load. The objective of this study is to identify and provide validity evidence following Messicks' framework for an instrument to evaluate cognitive load in virtual emergency medicine didactic sessions. Methods: This study followed Messicks' framework for validity including content, response process, internal structure, and relationship to other variables. Content validity evidence included: (1) engagement of reference librarian and literature review of existing instruments; (2) engagement of experts in cognitive load, and relevant stakeholders to review the literature and choose an instrument appropriate to measure cognitive load in EM didactic presentations. Response process validity was gathered using the format and anchors of instruments with previous validity evidence and piloting amongst the author group. A lecture was provided by one faculty to four residency programs via ZoomTM. Afterwards, residents completed the cognitive load instrument. Descriptive statistics were collected; Cronbach's alpha assessed internal consistency of the instrument; and correlation for relationship to other variables (quality of lecture). Results: The 10-item Leppink Cognitive Load instrument was selected with attention to content and response process validity evidence. Internal structure of the instrument was good (Cronbach's alpha = 0.80). Subscales performed well-intrinsic load (α = 0.96, excellent), extrinsic load (α = 0.89, good), and germane load (α = 0.97, excellent). Five of the items were correlated with overall quality of lecture (p < 0.05). Conclusions: The 10-item Cognitive Load instrument demonstrated good validity evidence to measure cognitive load and the subdomains of intrinsic, extraneous, and germane load. This instrument can be used to provide feedback to presenters to improve the cognitive load of their presentations.

West J Emerg Med ; 23(1): 103-107, 2022 01 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1633970


INTRODUCTION: Residency didactic conferences transitioned to a virtual format during the COVID-19 pandemic. This format creates questions about effective educational practices, which depend on learner engagement. In this study we sought to characterize the competitive demands for learner attention during virtual didactics and to pilot methodology for future studies. METHODS: This was a prospective, observational, cohort study of attendees at virtual didactics from a single emergency medicine residency, which employed a self-report strategy informed by validated classroom assessments of student engagement. We deployed an online, two-question survey polling across six conference days using random signaled sampling. Participants reported all activities during the preceding five minutes. RESULTS: There were 1303 responses over 40 survey deployments across six nonadjacent days. Respondents were residents (63.4%); faculty (27.5%); fellows (2.3%); students (2%); and others (4.8%). Across all responses, about 85% indicated engagement in the virtual conference within the last five minutes of the polls. The average number of activities engaged in was 2.0 (standard deviation = 1.1). Additional activities included education-related (34.2%), work-related (21.1%), social (18.8%), personal (14.6%), self-care (13.4%), and entertainment (4.4%). CONCLUSION: Learners engage in a variety of activities during virtual didactics. Engagement appears to fluctuate temporally, which may inform teaching strategies. This information may also provide unique instructor feedback. This pilot study demonstrates methodology for future studies of conference engagement and learning outcomes.

COVID-19 , Emergency Medicine , Cohort Studies , Humans , Pandemics , Pilot Projects , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
Acad Med ; 96(9): 1276-1281, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1371750


The clinical learning environment (CLE) encompasses the learner's personal characteristics and experiences, social relationships, organizational culture, and the institution's physical and virtual infrastructure. During the COVID-19 pandemic, all 4 of these parts of the CLE have undergone a massive and rapid disruption. Personal and social communications have been limited to virtual interactions or shifted to unfamiliar clinical spaces because of redeployment. Rapid changes to the organizational culture required prompt adaptations from learners and educators in their complex organizational systems yet caused increased confusion and anxiety among them. A traditional reliance on a physical infrastructure for classical educational practices in the CLE was challenged when all institutions had to undergo a major transition to a virtual learning environment. However, disruptions spurred exciting innovations in the CLE. An entire cohort of physicians and learners underwent swift adjustments in their personal and professional development and identity as they rose to meet the clinical and educational challenges they faced due to COVID-19. Social networks and collaborations were expanded beyond traditional institutional walls and previously held international boundaries within multiple specialties. Specific aspects of the organizational and educational culture, including epidemiology, public health, and medical ethics, were brought to the forefront in health professions education, while the physical learning environment underwent a rapid transition to a virtual learning space. As health professions education continues in the era of COVID-19 and into a new era, educators must take advantage of these dynamic systems to identify additional gaps and implement meaningful change. In this article, health professions educators and learners from multiple institutions and specialties discuss the gaps and weaknesses exposed, opportunities revealed, and strategies developed for optimizing the CLE in the post-COVID-19 world.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Education, Distance/methods , Education, Medical/methods , Learning , Physical Distancing , Students, Medical/psychology , Cooperative Behavior , Education, Distance/organization & administration , Education, Medical/organization & administration , Humans , Interdisciplinary Placement , Organizational Culture , Social Environment , Social Networking , United States
AEM Educ Train ; 4(3): 284-290, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-676305