Technology-Enhanced Interactive Surgical Education

Bryan A. Whitson, Chuong D. Hoang, Tun Jie, Michael A. Maddaus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: Our goal was to create surgical resident centered, interactive teaching modules rich in basic science and clinical content directly pertinent to patient care and surgical techniques that would facilitate education in the 80-h work week environment. Methods: A systematic evaluation of available instructional tools determined that a technology-enhanced approach can effectively and efficiently address the new requirements for resident learning. An extensive evaluation of available technology determined the technology best suited to teaching the adult surgical learner. Results: An on-line, multimedia-based surgical education environment using WebCT Vista (WebCT, Inc., Lynnfield, MA) and Macromedia Breeze (Adobe Systems, Inc., San Jose, CA) software packages was implemented. The concept was constructed on tenets of adult learning theory and based on the APDS curriculum and ACGME core competencies. WebCT Vista serves as virtual scaffolding, and Macromedia Breeze functions to deliver content rich multimedia audio and visual presentations. Core subdiscipline teaching modules were created, comprised of individual lecture packets developed by faculty. Components for testing pre/post module knowledge, feedback and evaluations are built-in. The online nature allows for 24-h access at locations that are convenient to the resident. Conclusions: Teaching modules enable maximal trainee and instructor flexibility, which translates into optimal adult learning and teaching. Lecture packets can be conveyed to all residents with unlimited availability in the virtual domain. Further refinement and continued implementation will help fill the void in direct didactic teaching left by mandated work hour restrictions, allowing for more efficient learning and teaching. There is great potential for broad application of the concept and technology to other training programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-18
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported through a technology-enhanced learning educational grant from the Digital Media Library at the University of Minnesota. The authors would also like to acknowledge Mary Knatterud, Ph.D., for her editorial assistance with this manuscript.


  • education
  • internet
  • teaching module
  • virtual


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