Participant engagement on the University College London Hospitals’ Intensive Care Medicine Training course is being enhanced thanks to ParticiPoll, an add-in compatible with Microsoft PowerPoint for PC on Microsoft Office versions 2010, 2013, 2016 and Office 365.
The Intensive Care Medicine Training course runs over one day and covers the fundamentals of critical care. The course is typically attended by junior doctors who are about to begin an intensive care unit (ICU) post.
The course is facilitated by experienced registrars, offering a safe learning environment to attendees using practical simulations to replicate ‘real life’ experiences that students will face in the ICU.
“As our course is mainly practical based, our participants form small groups,” explained course organiser Jennifer Robins. “They gain hands on experience, such as how to use a ventilator, airway management, management of acute kidney injury. This prepares them to be able to manage and undertake these procedures in ICU the first time they face them.”
At the end of the course, participants take part in a tutorial plenary session to test knowledge and understanding.
“Originally, we structured this as a question and answer session to try and objectively measure whether people had improved their understanding of the content,” said Robins. “The questions were challenging for our audience as they had only a basic level of experience and understanding. In order to help participation, we introduced it in a presentation format and then last July we incorporated ParticiPoll. The anonymity of polling enables learners to safely participate without risking embarrassment. This session has dramatically improved as a result, making it more engaging.”
Thanks to ParticiPoll, the course’s organisers have been able to identify topics that are well understood among participants, and those that prove problematic.
“The plenary learning format can lead to a lack of concentration if the content isn’t sufficiently stimulating or too difficult,” said Robins. “Polling allows us to skim over well-understood topics and go into more detail on the questions that 25% of people get wrong – normally these people get left behind. So essentially it democratises learning and allows full engagement. It allows the lecture to evolve into in a learning activity. Because of the engagement, it fights the end of day slump.”
For more information on ParticiPoll, visit their website