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Pretests or advance organizers for Web-based allergy‐immunology medical education? A randomized controlled trial

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Abstract:

Web-based modules may facilitate instruction on core topics in allergy and immunology (AI). Pretests (PTs) have been shown to improve learning in Web-based courses, but their effectiveness in comparison with advance organizers (AOs) is unknown. We performed a randomized controlled trial of a Web-based educational intervention for teaching the practical aspects of allergen immunotherapy (AIT). AI Fellows-in-Training were randomly assigned to receive the introduction to the modules in an AO outline (AO group) or as PT questions (PT group). The primary outcome was the difference in posttest scores between groups. The secondary outcome was the difference in PT and posttest scores in the PT group. Thirty participants in the AO group and 35 in the PT group completed the modules and the posttest. The mean (SD) posttest score for the AO group was 74% (14%) compared with 73% (9%) for the PT group, a mean difference of −1% (95% CI, −7%, 5%; p = 0.67). A multivariate analysis controlling for year-in-training and total time spent on the modules revealed virtually identical results. The mean (SD) PT score for the PT group increased from 49 (10%) to 73% (9%), a mean difference of 24% (95% CI, 19%, 28%; p < 0.0001). Introducing Web-based allergy education with PT questions or an AO resulted in similar posttest scores. Posttest scores in the PT group improved significantly compared with PT scores.

Keywords: Computer-assisted instruction; Internet; continuing; desensitization; distance; education; educational measurement; immunotherapy; learning; medical; teaching

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2500/aap.2012.33.3511

Publication date: 2012-03-01

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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