Formative feedback with in-class question bank utilization improves resident satisfaction with general surgery didactics

Jacob B. Hammond, William W. Sheaffer, Chad M. Teven, Nabil Wasif, Nitin Mishra, Victor J. Davila, William J. Casey, Thomas M. Polveroni, Leah W. Moore, Anthony A. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Formative feedback provides low-stakes opportunities for educational improvement. To enrich our basic science didactics, formative feedback measures were incorporated into our didactics using mobile devices. Materials and Methods: Lecture changes included institutional paid access to a commercial question bank, a 5-item in-class pre-didactic quiz curated from the question bank and taken on the resident’s mobile device, and group discussion of quiz topics. An anonymous survey was sent to participating residents. Results: Overall response rate was 71% among residents. All reported that the new lecture format was a valuable addition to the basic science curriculum (100% Agree/Strongly Agree), and formative assessments provided valuable feedback about the progress of their learning (Strongly Agree = 42%, Agree =58%). All residents reported that in-class use of their mobile device for quizzes was convenient, with majority (84%) preferring it over paper printouts. Residents were more motivated to study before lecture (Strongly Agree = 42%, Agree =42%), with majority also reporting the new format helped identify weaknesses in their knowledgebase (Strongly Agree = 58%, Agree =33%). While majority of residents agreed that quizzes motivated them to study more after lecture, a large portion disagreed (42%). Majority of senior residents reported that the process of composing quizzes prior to lecture enriched their own learning (57%) and helped them find gaps in their knowledge (71%). Conclusion: Incorporating a commercial question bank within didactics gives general surgery residents formative feedback and encourages learning outside the classroom, leading to improved satisfaction with basic science didactics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1033-1041
Number of pages9
JournalAdvances in Medical Education and Practice
StatePublished - 2021


  • Education
  • Formative feedback
  • Mobile device
  • Question bank
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Medicine(all)


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