Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


Search This Site

Journal Club

Crowdsourcing: A new technique to gather teaching materials

Wisdom of the crowd: Bright ideas and innovations from the teaching value and choosing wisely campaign.  Shah N et al. Academic Medicine 2015:90(5):624-8.

Reviewed by Alison Volpe Holmes

What was the study question?
Can crowdsourcing be used to successfully identify and disseminate the most promising pedagogical approaches to teaching cost-conscious, high-value clinical medicine?

How was the study done?
In spring 2013, the authors solicited submissions to a contest for the best curricular innovations on teaching high-vale and cost-conscious care. The effort, the “Teaching Value and Choosing Wisely Challenge”, was co-sponsored by the ABIM Foundation and Costs of Care Inc., an independent, not-for-profit organization. Calls for submissions were distributed by press release, print advertising and social media. The authors scored the submissions by 2 standardized scales, FINER (Feasibility, Interesting, Novel, Ethical, Relevant) and COST (Culture, Oversight, Systems change, Training).

What were the study results?
The first annual competition had 74 entries, including 28 “innovations”—teaching and training activities already ongoing, and 46 “bright ideas”--novel ideas for new training activities that were not yet operationalized. The six finalists presented their teaching activities at a large national conference. Finalist entries included a morning report featuring charge data to promote cost-effective care, a trainee-authored case-vignette series of harms accrued through overdiagnosis and overtreatment, and trainee dashboards that allow for peer comparisons of ordering practices. Only 2 of the submissions were in pediatrics, 15 addressed undergraduate medical education, and 14 medical students were the authors of contest submissions.

What are the implications of these results?
The teaching of high-value care is generating a significant amount of energy and enthusiasm, as well as many excellent teaching innovations. Crowdsourcing proved effective and efficient as a method to gather and disseminate curricular ideas. Both pediatrics and undergraduate medical education are currently underrepresented in teaching activities regarding cost-effective care.


Editor’s Note: It is exciting to see the work being done in this burgeoning area. If pediatrics is underrepresented, I know that our COMSEP colleagues will take up the call and develop new curricula for our pediatric undergraduate students (JG).


Return to Journal Club