MANUSCRIPT: Identifying high quality medical education websites in Otolaryngology: a guide for medical students and residents
Learners often utilize online resources to supplement formalized curricula, and to appropriately support learning, these resources should be of high quality. Thus, the objectives of this study are to develop and provide validity evidence supporting an assessment tool designed to assess the quality of educational websites in Otolaryngology- Head & Neck Surgery (ORL-HNS), and identify those that could support effective web-based learning. METHODS: After a literature review, the Modified Education in Otolaryngology Website (MEOW) assessment tool was designed by a panel of experts based on a previously validated website assessment tool. A search strategy using a Google-based search engine was used subsequently to identify websites. Those that were free of charge and in English were included. Websites were coded for whether their content targeted medical students or residents. Using the MEOW assessment tool, two independent raters scored the websites. Inter-rater and intra-rater reliability were evaluated, and scores were compared to recommendations from a content expert.
The MEOW assessment tool included a total of 20 items divided in 8 categories related to authorship, frequency of revision, content accuracy, interactivity, visual presentation, navigability, speed and recommended hyperlinks. A total of 43 out of 334 websites identified by the search met inclusion criteria. The scores generated by our tool appeared to differentiate higher quality websites from lower quality ones: websites that the expert “would recommend” scored 38.4 (out of 56; CI [34.4-42.4]) and “would not recommend” 27.0 (CI [23.2-30.9]). Inter-rater and intra-rater intraclass correlation coefficient were greater than 0.7.
Using the MEOW assessment tool, high quality ORL-HNS educational websites were identified.