Web-based learning provides an effective adjunct to clinical experience in medical education. However, few efforts have assessed learner satisfaction with web-based medical education experiences. American Burn Association and Advanced Burn Life Support (ABLS)-Now™ is a self-directed web-based curriculum designed to teach clinicians how to assess and stabilize patients with serious burns during the critical hours after injury. The purpose of this study is to evaluate time spent by learners taking the course, to demonstrate successful completion of an exam by these clinicians after the course, and to describe learner satisfaction with ABLS-Now. This preliminary descriptive study analyzed exam scores and voluntary course evaluations of medical students and interns to assess effectiveness of and satisfaction with the web-based ABLS-Now curriculum. Eighteen students and interns completed the web-based ABLS-Now curriculum and follow-up survey. The mean exam score was 88%. Learner scores strongly correlated with time spent completing the course (r2 = .66, P = .01). Learner satisfaction was very high. Learners expressed an interest in using similar web-based tools to learn about other topics in surgery. For novice clinicians, ABLS-Now seems to be an effective way to provide basic burn care education at a time when other educational opportunities have been reduced by work hour restrictions. Learners found the modules easy to use, relevant, and interesting. They indicated an interest in future use of web-based learning to supplement clinical experiences. Web-based learning represents an effective and well-received addition to clinical education in surgery for residents and medical students.
From the Department of Surgery, University of Utah Health Sciences Center, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Presented in part at the 38th annual meeting of the American Burn Association, Las Vegas, Nevada, April 4–7, 2006.
Address correspondence to Amalia Cochran, MD, Department of Surgery, University of Utah School of Medicine, 30 North 1900 East, Room 3B313, Salt Lake City, Utah 84132.