Author Affiliations: Department of Psychiatry and Center of Excellence for Neurosciences, Texas tech University Health Sciences Center, El Paso, Texas, USA (Leiner, M); Department of Pediatrics, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, El Paso, Texas, USA (Krishnamurthy GP, Blanc O, Castillo B, Medina I)
Corresponding Author: Marie Leiner, Ph.D., 4800 Alberta, El Paso, Texas, 79905, USA (Tel: 915 545-7590 Fax: 915 545-7571; Email: email@example.com)
Background: Interactive media are effective tools in teaching and allow for self-directed study, which develops skills for life-long learning among health professionals. With this type of study, the learner can review material at his/her own pace and target areas that require emphasis. Pediatric residents require an accurate understanding of developmental milestones in children of various ages and their normal variations. The best representation of developmental milestones requires video recordings of children demonstrating appropriate skills. However, such recordings are not always available, so printed materials are most often used. In this realm, a computer-based interactive learning tool using animated cartoons gives flexibility for presentation using drawings. We compared pediatric residents' knowledge of developmental milestones in neonates to 5-year-olds before and after study with either an interactive DVD or paper-based materials.
Methods: A team of physicians and educational specialists in Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center produced an interactive DVD containing animated cartoons and questions. Residents were divided into an intervention group that used the DVD and a control group that used traditional paper-based materials. Each group's improvement [or increase] in knowledge was measured.
Results: Compared with the 17 residents in the control group, the 37 in the intervention group tended to acquire more knowledge about developmental milestones. The mean scores at T1, T2, and T3 doubled from the initial scores in the intervention group, while no difference was observed in the control group.
Conclusion: An interactive educational DVD can be an effective supplement to improve residents' knowledge of developmental milestones.
Key words: animated cartoons; developmental milestones; health communication; multimedia design; pediatric training
World J Pediatr 2011;7(2):161-166