Methods and effects of a case-based pediatric gastroenterology online curriculum

Mark Feist, Mary Ciccarelli, Brian A. Mcferron, Jean P. Molleston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES:: Asynchronous learning, using Web-based instruction, is developing a growing role in medical education. Restrictions on resident work hours continue to require restructuring of formal educational activities in many programs. The objectives of this curriculum development project was to determine whether using blended learning with case-based online modules supplemented by faculty-facilitated case discussion was effective and well received. METHODS:: The pediatric gastroenterology curriculum, completed during a 4-week subspecialty rotation, consists of 8 case-based online modules and four 1-hour didactic sessions. The curriculum was pilot tested using a 1-group, pretest/posttest design as well as a survey to assess both knowledge acquisition and learner satisfaction. Resident evaluations of the rotation were examined during a 4-year pre- and postimplementation period. RESULTS:: Twenty-one learners participated in pilot testing of the curriculum. After completing the curriculum, there was a significant improvement in post-test medical knowledge scores (pretest 73%, posttest 92%, P <†Š0.001). The satisfaction survey showed that learners were highly satisfied with the course format, and this teaching method was actually preferred to more traditional methods of teaching. Pilot learners reported increased comfort in caring for patients with gastrointestinal complaints. Evaluations of the gastroenterology rotation improved significantly across multiple domains in the years after implementation of the curriculum. CONCLUSIONS:: This curriculum, which uses online teaching reinforced by faculty-facilitated case discussion, was both effective and well received by learners. The implementation of this curriculum appears to have had sustained beneficial effects on the learning environment beyond the simple acquisition of medical knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-165
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2013


  • asynchronous learning
  • blended learning
  • curriculum development
  • online curriculum
  • pediatric gastroenterology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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