- In March 2020, McMaster University, an academic medical center in Ontario, adapted emergency medicine (EM) rotations to fit an online format, supplementing medical students’ canceled emergency medicine shifts with interactive Slack modules during COVID-19.
- Academic Medical Center
- Virtual meeting platform
Team Members Involved
- Clinical Trainee or Student
- School Staff
- A multidisciplinary team at McMaster University, which included two clinical educators, medical residents, and faculty, created virtual programming in response to education interruptions due to COVID-19. This pilot online programming replaced ED shifts that were canceled due to COVID-19 for 23 medical students. Innovators used Slack to deliver three types of online programs to students: case-based asynchronous learning, ask-me-anything web tutorials, and online E-modules. Following a self-assessment of the program, the innovators brought all components of the EM rotation online for 204 medical students for an 11-week online program.
- Innovators used Slack channels to deliver four patient case studies, four web tutorials, and two E-Modules (Electrocardiogram and Radiology) to 23 medical students whose EM rotations were disrupted by COVID-19.
- Students accounted for 45% of messages sent over Slack, demonstrating that an interactive EM rotation experience was preserved online. Most students virtually participated in cases or tutorials upwards of three to 10 times per day.
- Innovators followed a plan-do-study-act (PDSA) course development method and were unable to gauge how asynchronous student discussion would alter course timelines during course demos. They attribute low initial Slack participation in part to insufficient time for students to complete cases.
- 50% of participants reported low prior usage of Slack, a barrier to participation. Messaging rates varied from a maximum of 247 messages in a four hour period to a minimum of one message.
- In post-surveys, half of participating faculty indicated that Slack and online learning brought additional teaching responsibilities when compared to in-person EM rotations.
- Nagji A, Yilmaz Y, Zhang P, Dida J, Cook-Chaimowitz L, Dong JK, Colpitts L, Beecroft J, Chan TM. Converting to Connect: A Rapid RE-AIM Evaluation of the Digital Conversion of a Clerkship Curriculum in the Age of COVID-19. AEM Educ Train. 2020 Aug 9;4(4):330-339. doi: 10.1002/aet2.10498. PMID: 33150275; PMCID: PMC7592819.