ABSTRACT: Enhancement of Customary Dermoscopy Education With Spaced Education e-Learning: A Prospective Controlled Trial.
Dermoscopy permits the detection of early-stage melanomas but is difficult to learn. It is important to develop effective teaching methods. Spaced education is a methodology within the field of adaptive learning that uses online tools to reinforce long-term retention.
To determine whether a spaced education dermoscopy module improved dermoscopy skills in the continuing medical education setting and to evaluate participant satisfaction.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS:
We designed a prospective controlled study with 2 sequential cohorts of participants enrolled between September 2010 and September 2013, in the continuing medical education dermoscopy program of the Claude Bernard-Lyon 1 University in Lyon, France. Participants enrolled in this program were either certified dermatologists or senior dermatology residents. The control group (n = 95) comprised all participants enrolled during the 2 first years of the study (49 participants in the class of 2010, 46 in the class of 2011). The intervention group (n = 96) comprised all participants enrolled during the third and fourth years of the study (46 in the class of 2012; 50 in the class of 2013).
All participants attended a 3-day lecture followed by small-group tutorials 4 months later. Each participant also attended a day of consultation with a dermoscopy specialist. In addition, participants in the intervention group were enrolled in an e-learning spaced education dermoscopy program.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES:
The main outcome measure was mean participant scores at the posttest evaluation, which was conducted 4 months after course enrollment.
The intervention group had better results at the posttest, with a mean (SD) score (out of a possible 160.0 points) of 148.1 (5.8) (n = 82 participants) vs 145.7 (7.7) (n = 90 participants) in the control group (P = .02). Ninety-two percent of the participants (80 of 87) were extremely or very satisfied with the e-learning module. Participant engagement was high, with an average of 85% of participants (80 of 94) “on track” at any given time of the year.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE:
Our study shows that, in the context of continuing medical education, a spaced education Internet dermoscopy module combined with in-class training increases participant performances in dermoscopy. It is easy to use and adaptable to professional working schedules.