Study Shows Efficacy of Various Teaching Methods

A multi-ethnic group of medical students are sitting together in a medical training research meeting. The teacher is holding a model of the human brain and discussing how it functions with the group. They are all wearing scrubs and the teacher is also wearing a white medical jacket over his scrubs.
Clinical experiences, reading assignments, and synchronous instruction resulted in improved performance, the report shows.

The following article is a part of conference coverage from the 2021 meeting of the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society, being held virtually from February 20 to 23, 2021. The team at Ophthalmology Advisor will be reporting on the latest news and research conducted by these leading experts in neuro-ophthalmology. Check back for more from the NANOS 2021 Meeting.


Clinical rotation experience as well as the teaching modality used to present material were the top two factors correlated with improved resident assessment performance, a study presented at the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society 2021 Annual Meeting found.

Researchers sought to evaluate the relative effectiveness of different education sources to characterize factors related to ophthalmology resident assessment performance and to identify areas of weakness in residents’ knowledge. 

To collect this information, 10-question quizzes were developed and deployed to residents from the Wilmer Eye Institute of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine at the conclusions of 13 didactic sessions spanning 3 academic years (July 2017 to June 2020). A total of 24 ophthalmology residents participated, resulting in 1375 responses from 141 quizzes for evaluation. 

The quiz responses show the following: 

  • Ophthalmology residents performed better on assessments after a neuro-ophthalmology clinical rotation than before that rotation (mean 79% vs 72% correct P =.018). 
  • Resident performance was better with live teaching rather than pre-recorded teaching (mean 84% vs 73% correct P =.0007). 
  • Performance was also better with recommended reading rather than live talks (88% vs 84% correct P =.049) or pre-recorded talks (mean 88% vs 73% correct P =.0013). 

Also, the data demonstrated that improved quiz performance correlated with higher scores on the Ophthalmic Knowledge Assessment Program (OKAP) (P =.027). There was a trend toward better OKAP performance with more didactic session attendance. 

For those with influence over residency programs, this study suggests that integration of more clinical experiences, directed reading assignments, and synchronous instruction may improve performance on medical knowledge assessments. 

Collecting formative data throughout the course of residency could also provide a valuable tool for the development of individualized learning plans, which could ultimately improve summative assessment performance and the overall educational experience. 

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Henderson A, Tian J, Ramulu P. Evaluation of neuro-ophthalmology curriculum for ophthalmology residents. Presented at: North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society Annual Meeting; February 20-23, 2021; Poster 133.