The Institute of Medicine’s report, To Err is Human (2000), documented 98,000 annual deaths attributable to medical error. Simulation based medical education (SBME) was recommended as one mitigation strategy. Today, simulation is almost universally used in U.S. medical schools. To prepare first year medical students for SBME, the John A. Burns School of Medicine offers a classroom lecture and subsequent bedside orientation and scenario. However, student feedback has revealed recurring negative experiences including feeling stressed, unprepared and desire for more orientation. To address these issues, the researcher developed an asynchronous orientation module delivered through a website using WordPress.
Merrill’s First Principles of Instruction (2002) was used bring relevancy to the module through visual demonstration of tasks, real-world examples, and scaffolding. Bloom’s Taxonomy (2002) informed the cognitive framework for the curriculum. Upon completion a usability study was performed with fourteen (n = 14) first- and second-year medical students. The study involved three iterations of cognitive walk-throughs measuring learnability, efficiency and error rate, satisfaction and ability to prepare the student. The results of the usability study found evidence that the instructional module’s system usability scale rating was excellent. (Brooke, 1996). However, additional data found a low effectiveness rate of 50% and a problematic efficiency rate as measured by task completion and time. Modifications were informed by Nielsen’s (1994) severity rating for usability problems. Qualitative analysis provided interesting future modifications. The presentation will conclude by showcasing specific design modifications and discussing lessons learned about the value of conducting usability studies as part of the instructional design process.