Historically, trainees in undergraduate and graduate health professions education have relied on secondary resources, such as textbooks and lectures, for core learning activities. Recently, blogs and podcasts have entered into mainstream usage, especially for residents and educators. These low-cost, widely available resources have many characteristics of disruptive innovations and, if they continue to improve in quality, have the potential to reinvigorate health professions education. One potential limitation of further growth in the use of these resources is the lack of information on their quality and effectiveness.
To identify quality indicators for secondary resources that are described in the literature, which might be applicable to blogs and podcasts.
Using a blended research methodology, we performed a systematic literature review using Google Scholar, MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science, and ERIC to identify quality indicators for secondary resources. A qualitative analysis of these indicators resulted in the organization of this information into themes and subthemes. Expert focus groups were convened to triangulate these findings and ensure that no relevant quality indicators were missed.
The literature search identified 4530 abstracts, and quality indicators were extracted from 157 articles. The qualitative analysis produced 3 themes (credibility, content, and design), 13 subthemes, and 151 quality indicators.
The list of quality indicators resulting from our analysis can be used by stakeholders, including learners, educators, academic leaders, and blog/podcast producers. Further studies are being conducted, which will refine the list into a form that is more structured and stratified for use by these stakeholders.