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Audience response system: a new learning tool for urologic conferences
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, Virginia, USA
Dec  2013 (Vol.  20, Issue  6, Pages( 7042 - 7045)
PMID: 24331346


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    Audience response systems (ARS) have not been used to gauge knowledge transfer and retention in the setting of large medical conferences. In this study, we explore the utility of an ARS as an educational tool in the setting of a large urology conference.


    At the 2011 joint meeting of the Mid-Atlantic and New England sections of the American Urological Association, conference attendees were able to use a web-based and cell-phone accessed ARS. At the meeting, six ARS questions were asked during five point-counterpoint debate topics covering areas of prostate cancer, incontinence, pediatrics, stone disease, and renal cancer. Questions were presented by expert representatives from each of the sections; questions were structured as management options for predefined cases. At the beginning and end of each 15-minute session, attendees were asked to use the ARS to select the best management option.


    In five out of the six questions (83%) more than 10% of responses were changed following the presentation of the point-counterpoint session and a > 25% change in response was noted in two out of the six questions (33%). A statistically significant change was noted for one question relating to management of urolithiasis in pregnancy (p = 0.037).


    This is the first study which demonstrates the potential utility of an ARS in a large urology conference. With further research it may be possible to use this technology to identify high-yield topics for medical education and improve outcomes during lecture-based educational activities.