Background: Recent evidence suggests that retrieval practice, or learning by testing, may lead to more effective knowledge retention than standard educational techniques. Aim: The purpose of this pilot project was to document successful teaching of evidence-based guidelines in critical care by augmenting interactive problem-based teaching sessions with online pre- and post-testing. Methods: We used a free, internet-based document collaboration system (Google Docs™)1 to develop and share pre-tests and pre-session teaching files with the fellows. At the teaching sessions the pre-tests were reviewed interactively, and additional case-based questions were presented. One week after the sessions, the fellows were sent a post-test and a post-session survey. Results of the pre- and post-tests as well as the post-session surveys were tabulated by the document collaboration system. Results: The mean score was 54.6% (SD = 21.4%) on the pre-tests and 87.0% (SD = 15.8%) on the post-tests (p < 0.01). On a scale of 1-10, the median ratings given by the fellows were 9.5 (IQR = 9-10) for utility of the teaching sessions, 9 for utility of the test questions (IQR = 9-10), and 10 (IQR = 9-10) for utility of the teaching files. Conclusion: Google Docs™ can be successfully used to integrate retrieval practice into the teaching of evidence-based guidelines in critical care.
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