Online Liver Imaging Course; Pivoting to Transform Radiology Education During the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic.Acad Radiol. 2021 01; 28(1):119-127.AR
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has drastically disrupted radiology in-person education. The purpose of this study was to assess the implementation of a virtual teaching method using available technology and its role in the continuity of education of practicing radiologists and trainees during the pandemic.
The authors created the Online Liver Imaging Course (OLIC) that comprised 28 online comprehensive lectures delivered in real-time and on-demand over six weeks. Radiologists and radiology trainees were asked to register to attend the live sessions. At the end of the course, we conducted a 46-question survey among registrants addressing their training level, perception of virtual conferencing, and evaluation of the course content.
One thousand four hundred and thirty four radiologists and trainees completed interest sign up forms before the start of the course with the first webinar having the highest number of live attendees (343 people). On average, there were 89 live participants per session and 750 YouTube views per recording (as of July 9, 2020). After the end of the course, 487 attendees from 37 countries responded to the postcourse survey for an overall response rate of (33%). Approximately (63%) of participants were practicing radiologists while (37%) were either fellows or residents and rarely medical students. The overwhelming majority (97%) found the OLIC webinar series to be beneficial. Essentially all attendees felt that the webinar sessions met (43%) or exceeded (57%) their expectations. When asked about their perception of virtual conferences after attending OLIC lectures, almost all attendees (99%) enjoyed the virtual conference with a majority (61%) of the respondents who enjoyed the virtual format more than in-person conferences, while (38%) enjoyed the webinar format but preferred in-person conferences. When asked about the willingness to attend virtual webinars in the future, (84%) said that they would attend future virtual conferences even if in-person conferences resume while (15%) were unsure.
The success of the OLIC, attributed to many factors, indicates that videoconferencing technology provides an inexpensive alternative to in-person radiology conferences. The positive responses to our postcourse survey suggest that virtual education will remain to stay. Educational institutions and scientific societies should foster such models.