Gamified Twitter Microblogging to Support Resident Preparation for the American Board of Surgery In-Service Training Examination.

Research paper by Laura C LC Lamb, Monica M MM DiFiori, Vijay V Jayaraman, Brian D BD Shames, James M JM Feeney

Indexed on: 27 May '17Published on: 27 May '17Published in: Journal of Surgical Education


We sought to determine if a daily gamified microblogging project improves American Board of Surgery In-Service Training Examination (ABSITE) scores for participants.In July 2016, we instituted a gamified microblogging project using Twitter as the platform and modified questions from one of several available question banks. A question of the day was posted at 7-o׳clock each morning, Monday through Friday. Respondents were awarded points for speed, accuracy, and contribution to discussion topics. The moderator challenged respondents by asking additional questions and prompted them to find evidence for their claims to fuel further discussion. Since 4 months into the microblogging program, a survey was administered to all residents. Responses were collected and analyzed. After 6 months of tweeting, residents took the ABSITE examination. We compared participating residents׳ ABSITE percentile rank to those of their nonparticipating peers. We also compared residents׳ percentile rank from 2016 to those in 2017 after their participation in the microblogging project.The University of Connecticut general surgery residency is an integrated program that is decentralized across 5 hospitals in the central Connecticut region, including Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, located in Hartford.We advertised our account to the University of Connecticut general surgery residents. Out of 45 residents, 11 participated in Twitter microblogging (24.4%) and 17 responded to the questionnaire (37.8%).In all, 100% of the residents who were participating in Twitter reported that daily microblogging prompted them to engage in academic reading. Twitter participants significantly increased their ABSITE percentile rank from 2016 to 2017 by an average of 13.7% (±14.1%) while nonparticipants on average decreased their ABSITE percentile rank by 10.0% (±16.6) (p = 0.003).Microblogging via Twitter with gamification is a feasible strategy to facilitate improving performance on the ABSITE, especially in a geographically distributed residency.

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