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Type: Journal article
Title: Enhancing continuing education activities using audience response systems: a single-blind controlled trial
Author: Grzeskowiak, L.
Thomas, A.
To, J.
Reeve, E.
Phillips, A.
Citation: Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, 2015; 35(1):38-45
Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 0894-1912
Statement of
Luke Grzeskowiak, Alicia E. Thomas, Josephine To, Emily Reeve, Adam J. Phillips
Abstract: Introduction: We investigated whether using an audience response system (ARS) as part of continuing education (CE) activities enhances immediate and long-term knowledge acquisition or learner reactions. Method: A multicenter single-blinded controlled trial involving pharmacists at 2 metropolitan teaching hospitals was used for this investigation. Pharmacists were allocated to either (a) an interactive presentation incorporating multiple-choice questions (MCQs) answered using an ARS, or (b) the same, but noninteractive, presentation using summary points instead of MCQs. Baseline knowledge was evaluated using a 10-item questionnaire, which was also used to evaluate immediate and long-term (6 weeks later) knowledge acquisition. Learner reactions were evaluated through feedback questionnaires. Results: The control and ARS intervention presentations were attended by 44 and 35 pharmacists, respectively. The 6-week follow-up questionnaire was completed by 35 control (80%) and 27 (77%) ARS group participants. Baseline knowledge was similar across groups (5.0 ± 1.6 SD vs 5.2 ± 1.6; p = .44) with no differences in immediate (8.3 ± 1.5 vs 7.9 ± 1.5; p = 0.30) or long-term (7.0 ± 1.6 vs 7.0 ± 1.5; p = 0.93) knowledge acquisition. Feedback regarding the use of an ARS was overwhelmingly positive, with participants feeling more strongly that the ARS enabled them to compare knowledge to that of their peers (p < .001). Discussion: There was no observed benefit of an ARS in relation to immediate or long-term knowledge acquisition. The use of an ARS, however, appeared to facilitate enhanced interactivity and participant self-reflection of knowledge, with strong participant desire to continue their use in future CE activities.
Keywords: Audience response system; clickers; interactive learning; continuing education; profession-pharmacist; theory learning; workplace learning; Maintenance of Certification
Rights: © 2015 The Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions, the Society for Academic Continuing Medical Education, and the Council on Continuing Medical Education, Association for Hospital Medical Education. Published online in Wiley Online Library (
DOI: 10.1002/chp.21269
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