Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Evaluating the Impact of Interactive and Entertaining Educational Conferences

Karen Jerardi, MD, MEd
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

Background: Adult learning theory suggests that meaningful engagement impacts learning.

Objective: To evaluate the impact of resident-led interactive conferences on satisfaction, engagement and knowledge acquisition.
Methods: A prospective study at a pediatric academic institution compared educational conferences in two formats. Control conferences were PowerPoint® lectures and intervention conferences included multimedia, audience participation and faculty mentorship. Learner and presenter satisfaction and learner engagement were assessed by post-conference surveys. Knowledge was assessed via pre and post-conference open-ended questions; matched pre and post-tests were analyzed. Control and intervention groups' satisfaction, engagement, and knowledge change were compared using the Wilcoxon rank sum test. Comparison of number of learners with improved post-conference knowledge score was analyzed with the Chi-square test.
Results: There were 184 control and 171 intervention surveys collected. Learners’ median satisfaction (4 vs. 5, p=0.03) and engagement (4 vs. 5, p<.01) ratings improved in the intervention group. Presenters rated audience engagement as higher during the intervention conferences (median 3 vs. 4, p=.01). Knowledge acquisition between the groups was not significantly different.
Conclusions: Learner and presenter satisfaction and learner engagement were higher for the interactive format. While knowledge acquisition was unchanged, greater satisfaction encourages the use of interactive conferences.