Asynchronous curriculum "socially synchronized": Learning via competition

Jon Smart, Adriana Segura Olson, Andrew Muck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: Now widespread in emergency medicine (EM) residency programs, asynchronous curriculum (AC) moves education outside of classic classrooms. Our program's prior AC had residents learning in isolation, achieving completion via quizzes before advancing without the benefit of deliberate knowledge reinforcement. We sought to increase engagement and spaced repetition by creating a social AC using gamification. Methods: We created a website featuring monthly options from textbooks and open-access medical education. Residents selected four hours of material, and then submitted learning points. Using these learning points, trivia competitions were created. Residents competed in teams as "houses" during didactic conference, allowing for spaced repetition. Residents who were late in completing AC assignments caused their "house" to lose points, thus encouraging timely completion. Results: Completion rates prior to deadline are now >95% compared to ~30% before intervention. Surveys show increased AC enjoyment with residents deeming it more valuable clinically and for EM board preparation. Conclusion: Socially synchronized AC offers a previously undescribed method of increasing resident engagement via gamification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-8
Number of pages3
JournalWestern Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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