Online supplementation for teaching evidence-based medicine: feasibility of a randomised-controlled trial.
McCall MC., Fanshawe TR., McCartney D., Young D., Nunan D., Heneghan C.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: As teaching technologyadvances, medical education is increasingly using digital mediums and exploringinstructional models such as the flipped classroom and blended learningcourses, where the in-class taught sessions are more groups on contentdelivered before class. Early evidence suggestslectures and foundational material can be equally provided onlinebut we have low-quality research to be convinced. We aim to test anddevelop an online evidence-based teaching resource that seeks to improve theavailability and scalability of evidence-based medicine (EBM) learning tools. Weevaluate the feasibility of a study design that could test for changes inacademic performance in EBM skills using an online supplement. METHODS: Mixed-methods feasibility study of a randomised controlled trial (RCT) in an undergraduate medical student cohort. RESULTS: Of a small cohort (n=34), eightparticipants agreed to randomisation and completed the studyNo studyparticipant completed the EBM supplementary course in full. Students reporttime- management as a significant barrier in participation, and all aspects ofthe study and communications should be delivered with efficiency a keyconsideration. CONCLUSION: andomising students to an onlineEBM supplement within a medical school programme presents challenges ofrecruitment and student motivation, but the studydesign is potentially feasible.