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13-09-2021 | Failures/Surprises | Uitgave 6/2021 Open Access

Perspectives on Medical Education 6/2021

Engagement and learning in an electronic spaced repetition curriculum companion for a paediatrics academic half-day curriculum

Perspectives on Medical Education > Uitgave 6/2021
Jason R. McConnery, Ereny Bassilious, Quang N. Ngo
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Supplementary Information

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s40037-021-00680-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.


Postgraduate residencies utilize academic half-days to supplement clinical learning. Spaced repetition reinforces taught content to improve retention. We leveraged spaced repetition in a curriculum companion for a paediatric residency program’s half-day. One half-day lecture was chosen weekly for reinforcement (day 0). Participants received 3 key points on day 1 and a multiple-choice question (MCQ) on day 8. On day 29, they received two MCQs to test reinforced and unreinforced content from the same day 0. Thirty-one (79%) residents participated over 17 weeks, but only 14 (36%) completed more than half of the weekly quizzes. Of all quizzes, 37.4% were completed, with an average weekly engagement of 5.5 minutes. Helpfulness to learning was rated as 7.89/10 on a Likert-like scale. Reported barriers were missing related half-days and emails, or limited time. There was no significant difference in performance between reinforced (63.4%, [53.6–73.3]) and unreinforced (65.6%, [53.7–73.2]) questions. Spaced repetition is a proven strategy in learning science, but was not shown to improve performance. Operational barriers likely limited participation and underpowered our analysis, therefore future implementation must consider practical and individual barriers to facilitate success. Our results also illustrate that satisfaction alone is an inadequate marker of success.
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