The revised Approved Instructional Resources score: An improved quality evaluation tool for online educational resources Journal Articles uri icon

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  • AbstractBackgroundFree Open‐Access Medical education (FOAM) use among residents continues to rise. However, it often lacks quality assurance processes and residents receive little guidance on quality assessment. The Academic Life in Emergency Medicine Approved Instructional Resources tool (AAT) was created for FOAM appraisal by and for expert educators and has demonstrated validity in this context. It has yet to be evaluated in other populations.ObjectivesWe assessed the AAT’s usability in a diverse population of practicing emergency medicine (EM) physicians, residents, and medical students; solicited feedback; and developed a revised tool.MethodsAs part of the Medical Education Translational Resources: Impact and Quality (METRIQ) study, we recruited medical students, EM residents, and EM attendings to evaluate five FOAM posts with the AAT and provide quantitative and qualitative feedback via an online survey. Two independent analysts performed a qualitative thematic analysis with discrepancies resolved through discussion and negotiated consensus. This analysis informed development of an initial revised AAT, which was then further refined after pilot testing among the author group. The final tool was reassessed for reliability.ResultsOf 330 recruited international participants, 309 completed all ratings. The Best Evidence in Emergency Medicine (BEEM) score was the component most frequently reported as difficult to use. Several themes emerged from the qualitative analysis: for ease of use—understandable, logically structured, concise, and aligned with educational value. Limitations include deviation from questionnaire best practices, validity concerns, and challenges assessing evidence‐based medicine. Themes supporting its use include evaluative utility and usability. The author group pilot tested the initial revised AAT, revealing a total score average measure intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) of moderate reliability (ICC = 0.68, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0 to 0.962). The final AAT’s average measure ICC was 0.88 (95% CI = 0.77 to 0.95).ConclusionsWe developed the final revised AAT from usability feedback. The new score has significantly increased usability, but will need to be reassessed for reliability in a broad population.


  • Yeh, Calvin
  • Grock, Andrew
  • Jordan, Jaime
  • Zaver, Fareen
  • Colmers‐Gray, Isabelle N
  • Krishnan, Keeth
  • Chan, Teresa
  • Thoma, Brent

publication date

  • July 2021