PedsCases content production handbook: A glimpse into the future of medical education
Introduction: PedsCases (http://www.pedscases.com) is a pediatric educational website for undergraduate medical students developed through student-faculty collaboration. PedsCases consists of pediatric specific clinical multiple-choice questions (MCQs), podcasts on key learning objectives, and interactive cases that teach students clinical decision-making skills. Our objective was to create a handbook for medical students that outlines how to create these types of high quality online learning resources. Handbook Production: The PedsCases editors and contributors worked together on this project and drew upon prior experiences and medical education theory to develop a handbook that carefully summarizes the core elements of writing clinical cases, MCQs, and podcasts. Individual members drafted a version of the handbook, which was then peer reviewed and verified by members of the PedsCases team, including the director of pediatric undergraduate education. Handbook Description: Each section consists of: 1) specific writing mechanics; 2) how to test knowledge application; and 3) tips specific for PedsCases content. The clinical case section explores how to develop and organize a clinical case scenario while ensuring that the content is applicable to medical students. The MCQ portion discusses how to properly write a question stem, challenging distracters, and how to integrate MCQs into clinical scenarios. The section on podcasts explains characteristics that make a podcast unique from lecture and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of podcasts as a learning venue. In addition, we review important considerations to take into account while creating medical education content specifically for undergraduate medical students. Conclusions: This handbook highlights how students can effectively transform textbook knowledge into an online resource that complements day-to-day medical education. Placing students in a virtual setting where they are able to make decisions, follow their curiosity, and arrive at the right conclusions, helps to develop well-rounded medical students and future medical educators.