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

Matthew A. Rank, Gerald W. Volcheck, Timothy Swagger, David A. Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-196
Number of pages6
JournalAllergy and Asthma Proceedings
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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