• Creativity and Collaboration Fuel Online Webinar Success

    Author: Shekar N. Kurpad, MD, PhD

    This past year has seen many exciting firsts for the CNS’s online learning program. The CNS offered over twenty webinars this year, and this flagship offering has seen much success. There has been a significant push to integrate CNS webinar offerings with other online services as well as with the Annual Meeting Platform this year.

    The Oral Board Exam Preparation series of live webinars held twice a year continue to be tremendously successful. The faculty has done a great job in keeping instruction in these webinars at a high level. This past year, we offered a total of 13 Oral Board Preparation webinars; all of them are archived online and available with the click of a mouse. There were over 450 registrants for the live webinar series with each averaging over 30 registrants. Nearly 100 percent of registrants attended the webinars. We continue to gather data for feedback regarding webinar quality as well as monitor pre- and post-test questions to examine whether knowledge gaps are being effectively addressed. The average approval rating for the webinar series exceeds 90 percent with several approaching 100 percent. Additionally, we are seeing an average of 20 percent improvement in post versus pre-test performances, indicating that our board preparation webinars are effectively addressing key areas.

    The MOC Board Review webinars series held in March, 2015, had robust attendance and extremely positive feedback. Based upon this feedback, we will be working to further improve the timing of these webinars so that residents in all geographical areas in the country are able to maximize their attendance.

    With the leadership and foresight of Drs. Bendok and Selden, the CNS began a novel version of the webinars this past year. Loosely based on the principles of learning embodied in the Khan Academy, we began offering flipped classroom webinars. The concept essentially utilized a live webinar format for didactic instruction timed to occur two weeks to one month prior to the Annual Meeting in New Orleans. This was then linked to a Luncheon Seminar covering the same topic at the Annual Meeting. The three webinar offerings in this program discussed the use of anticoagulation, athletic head injuries, and the treatment of pituitary adenomas. We were able to engage world renowned experts in both the webinars and the Luncheon Seminars. We felt that maintaining the same faculty in both settings was extremely important to facilitate continuity. The results of these efforts have been encouraging. We received an average of 25 attendees per webinar with universally positive feedback. The program has been so successful that we are actively considering broadening the scope of the flipped classroom series to include more topics in the coming years.

    We have also actively pursued corporate sponsored webinars this year. Zeiss Inc. kindly sponsored a special tumor webinar highlighting the use of 5-ALA Fluorescence, which was hosted by Dr. Hadjipanayis in an successful webinar this past spring this is an effort we hope to repeat on this and other topics in the coming years.

    We have also seen steady traffic with our archived webinars. Web hits for our archived offerings continue to be robust, and attendance numbers parallel the live webinars. Overall, the CNS webinars continue to be innovative vehicles for continued education of neurosurgeons worldwide, and plans are underway to further grow collaborative webinar offerings in the coming year. We continue to offer online educational opportunities in the creative spirit of the CNS, ever broadening their reach and effectiveness in better training our physicians and improving patient care.


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