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Milad Modabber, Sourabh Arora, Karim Damji, Feisal Adatia; Critical Review of High Quality Ophthalmology Educational Web Resources Targeting Trainees. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):4428.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To identify, quantitatively evaluate, and to rank web-based educational resources in ophthalmology to facilitate improved selection by trainees.
A systemic search of scientific databases (PubMed, EMBASE) was conducted to identify academic and non-academic educational ophthalmology websites intended for medical students and trainees. Quantitative evaluation was performed using the validated Quality Component Scoring system (QCS), assessing for: ownership, purpose, authorship qualification, attribution, interactivity and currency. The Technical Component Score System (TCS), assessing for clinical content parameters was also utilized. T-test and ANOVA were conducted to compare scores on the basis of the various teaching modalities, general vs. subspecialty focus, and the level of expertise.
A total of 33 websites were included for analysis. The mean score from was 9.6 ± 1.7 (maximum possible score (MPS): 13); while for TCS it was 10.6 ± 6.6 (MPS: 20), with a mean combined score of 20.2 ± 6.7 (MPS: 33). The dominant teaching styles used were text/lecture-based (39%), video/multimedia (24%), case-based (21%), research articles (12%), and quiz-based (3%). However, 42% of the websites utilized multiple teaching modalities. The website formats that yielded the highest combined scores were: text-based (22 ± 7) and case-based (22 ± 6), while quiz-based was the lowest (9 ± 0.1). The mean TCS for resources targeting residents/fellows (9.2 ± 6.7, n=25) was significantly lower than websites intended for medical students/allied health professionals (15.0 ± 3.5, n=8; p= 0.004). The same trend was observed with total combined scores (19.1 ± 7.0, n=25 vs. 23.6 ± 4.7, n=8) respectively (p=0.05). The mean combined score for general ophthalmology (20.5 ± 7.2, n=24) versus subspecialty websites (19.6 ± 5.5, n=9) was not significantly different (p=0.71).
This study has provided a quality-ranked listing of online learning resources, stratified by the learning modality, general ophthalmology vs. subspecialty, and the audience’s assumed level of training. This will allow trainees to access websites most suited to their specific needs and learning styles. Hence, the quality of current and future ophthalmological resources can be enhanced through consideration of the QCS and TCS parameters.
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