Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Use of an Expert Concept Map as an Advance Organizer to Improve Respiratory Failure Understanding

William Cutrer, MD, MEd, FAAP
Vanderbilt University

Background: Helping novices transition toward expertise requires "meaningful" learning. Advance organizers are educational tools which help connect prior knowledge with new information, a critical step in making learning meaningful. Concept maps visually represent knowledge organization and can serve as advance organizers enabling deeper more meaningful learning while enhancing knowledge integration.
Aims: To compare respiratory failure understanding of resident physicians instructed using an expert concept map advance organizer with learners receiving traditional didactic teaching.
Method: Residents were randomized by month of service to receive either a control lecture using an expert concept map as an advanced organizer. Participants completed three concept maps: pre-education (CMI), immediately post-education (CM2), and one week later (CM3). Concept maps were scored using a standardized structural scoring method.
Results: 46 Pediatric residents (23 control and 23 experimental) participated. To account for repeated measures within subjects, the generalized estimating equations method compared concept map improvement between groups. The experimental group improved significantly more than controls (CM1-CM2-CM3 p=0.001; CM1 to CM2 p=0.001; and CM1 to CM3 p=0.017)
Conclusions: Using an expert concept map as an advance organizer improves knowledge organization and integration while offering a tool to enhance deeper understanding of medical knowledge among resident physicians.