Time. Urology surgery residents just don’t have much left for studying—after performing surgery, caring for patients, and advancing research. Worse yet, cramming doesn’t support retention of concepts fundamental to the field (see survey results below). Fortunately, personalized learning technology can a) keep track of what material each student has mastered and b) schedule periodic testing of remaining content. Best of all, spaced questioning can actually increase retention up to two years.
Here’s how it works. At any spare moment, residents access a web-based app, answer two daily questions, and immediately see their results and an explanation. (Question sequencing follows a two-year curriculum, so that questions about kidney stones appear when residents begin learning about them.) A correctly answered question returns after 6 weeks and, if answered correctly a second time, it is retired from that student’s question bank. Incorrectly answered questions return after 2 weeks.
UroStream is housed within Qstream, a commercial learning platform. Instead of writing code, faculty members can focus on selecting critical material, developing questions, and monitoring aggregate and individual response patterns. Delegating question management work to software makes the most of scarce faculty and resident time.