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OpenAnesthesia.org: Harnessing emerging technologies and dynamic on-line connections to foster an enhanced anesthesia learning community
Abstract Number: S-20
Abstract Type: Original Research
Introduction: As anesthesiologists evolve as leaders in perioperative medicine, so too evolve the demands and strategies for teaching and training such leaders. Increasingly there are needs to have innovative and interactive educational tools that meet the specific needs of the adult learner. These include independent self-directed learning, learning that leverages life experience, is timely and relevant, serves a meaningful purpose, and appeals to internal motivation. Since its inception in 2009, OpenAnesthesia.org (OA), a website sponsored by the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS) has grown and responded to these needs. For obstetric anesthesiologists, as for other subspecialties, this site offers multi-modal, interactive and “state of the art” learning opportunities for learners, and dynamic feedback for educators creating scholarly content.
Methods: Over-all access to the website was evaluated with particular focus on use of content related to obstetric anesthesiology. This data was collected via assessment of public material available on the website itself, as well as internal website-generated data collated by the Editor-in-Chief (EN).
Results: OA has undergone exponential growth and had its 2 millionth page view in January 2012. As an anesthesia “wiki” its content is constantly expanded, refined and updated by the internet community worldwide. Obstetric anesthesia topics are included within the “Anesthesia Text” portions and ABA keyword sections of the website. Engagement is enhanced by downloadable videos and audio-recordings to meet diverse learning needs. Repeated downloads (DL) of pod-cast interviews with senior authors of key articles have persisted over years (Dr Cynthia Wong, 1232DL since 2009; Dr James Eisenach, 1089DL since 2009; Dr Randall Flick, 1132DL since 2011). Access to “Ask the Experts” interviews also demonstrates continued interest through the years (Dr Cynthia Wong, 1829DL since 2010; Dr Pamela Flood, 4173DL since 2010; Dr May Pian-Smith, 984DL in one month). The site offers GME credit to learners who register their activity. Board Review “Questions of the Week” is one of the most popular and accessed portions of the website, offering explanations to learners and feedback to editors about access and correct vs incorrect responses to the content.
Discussion: OpenAnesthesia.org is a rapidly-growing on-line learning resource that grounds its success on the growing international community that both accesses and contributes to it. The site offers tangible benefits to both learners and educators. The interactive and multi-modal character of the website appeals to the needs of diverse learners. For faculty development, this open-access site offers immediate as well as long-term reaction to and feedback on scholarly content and can provide information about dissemination and thus impact of one’s contributions. It is an emerging premier site for obstetric anesthesia education and community-building.