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Teaching Chest Tube Insertion by Blended Learning: A Multi-Dimensional Analysis.

Surgical Innovation 2023 November 14
BACKGROUND: Emerging technologies are being incorporated in surgical education. The use of such technology should be supported by evidence that the technology neither distracts nor overloads the learner and is easy to use. To teach chest tube insertion, we developed an e-learning module, as part of a blended learning program delivered prior to in-person hands-on simulation. This pilot study was aimed to assess learning effectiveness of this blended learning, and cognitive load and the usability of e-learning.

METHODS: The interactive e-learning module with multimedia content was created following learning design principles. In advance of the standard simulation, 13 first-year surgical residents were randomized into two groups: 7 received the e-learning module and online reading materials (e-learning group); 6 received only the online reading materials (controls). Knowledge was evaluated by pre-and post-tests; technical performance was assessed using a Global Rating Scale by blinded assessors. Cognitive load and usability were evaluated using rating scales.

RESULTS: The e-learning group showed significant improvement from baseline in knowledge ( P = .047), while controls did not ( P = .500). For technical skill, 100% of residents in the e-learning group reached a predetermined proficiency level vs 60% of controls ( P = .06). The addition of e-learning was associated with lower extrinsic and greater germane cognitive load ( P = .04, .03, respectively). Usability was evaluated highly by all participants in e-learning group.

CONCLUSION: Interactive e-learning added to hands-on simulation led to improved learning and desired cognitive load and usability. This approach should be evaluated in teaching of other procedural skills.

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