Why create the AIR Series?

We created the Approved Instructional Resources (AIR) series because we have observed residencies struggle in evaluating which blog posts and podcasts are appropriate and high quality for resident education. Often residents independently access FOAM resources available online, but do not receive training credit for this. We seek to use our expertise to bridge this divide by assisting residency programs to promote asynchronous learning, online education, as well as reward residents who already effectively utilize FOAM resources.

 

What is III and how does this count for credit?

In 2008, the Council of Residency Directors (CORD) in Emergency Medicine as well as the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) endorsed a change in the education hours requirements for residencies. Previously, five hours of educational conference time was required per week. The new recommendation allows residencies to decrease their conference time to four hours per week with an additional one hour of documented asynchronous learning outside the classroom. This asynchronous learning opportunity has been termed Individualized Interactive Instruction (III).

More specifically, the 4 III criteria are the following:

  1. The program director must monitor resident participation. – We provide PDs administrative access to the Educator Dashboard on ALiEMU, the learning management platform for the AIR Series.
  2. There must be an evaluation component. – We have a post-module quiz.
  3. There must be faculty oversight. – We have faculty who are automatically emailed whenever there is a comment placed in the blog. If there is a question, we reply in a timely fashion.
  4. The activity must be monitored for effectiveness. – We have an internal QI process as well as a post-module survey to incorporate learner feedback.

We thus feel that this ALiEM AIR Series abides by these III requirements.

How are the AIR articles selected?

The 9-person Executive Board reviews numerous FOAM resources and scores each on an objective grading system designed for this series. We curate relevant posts from top blogs and podcasts, as graded by the Social Media Index, with the inclusion criteria of publication date within the past 12 months. If this list of posts is insufficient, we broaden to a longer time interval. We do not claim an exhaustively comprehensive search, but feel that we ultimately highlight quality posts for residency education.

The cumulative highest scoring posts from each module are selected. To decrease any obvious bias, members of the Executive Board recuse themselves from evaluating posts they wrote or were directly involved in writing. Our scoring tool looks at five measurement outcomes, each using a Likert 7-point scale:

  • BEEM Score
  • Content Accuracy
  • Educational Utility
  • Evidence Based Medicine
  • Referenced

Definitions: AIR Stamp of Approval and Honorable Mentions

In an effort to truly emphasize the highest quality posts, we have now adjusted our selections into two subsets. The AIR stamp of approval will only be given to posts scoring above a new, strict scoring cut-off of ≥30 points (out of 35 total), based on our scoring instrument. The other subset is for “Honorable Mention” posts. These posts have been flagged by and agreed upon by AIR Board members as worthwhile to highlight regardless of the point score (but still reflect accurate, appropriately referenced, and unbiased content). All posts will still be part of the quiz needed to obtain III credit.

The actual grading instrument can be viewed in this AIR Series Grading Tool PDF.

AIR Modules

Go to the ALiEMU Courses page (filtered for AIR Series only) to take all the courses and quizzes. Of note, we will be retiring courses if they are older than 3 years for the sake of content accuracy, as evidence evolves over time. As of January 2021, over 40,000 certificates have been awarded for AIR courses.

I am an EM Resident desiring III credit

Please speak with your program director about this possibility. If you are told that the AIR series is approved for credit, complete the end-of-module quiz and your participation will be tracked. Of course, you are always welcome to take the quiz for your own learning purposes.

I am an EM residency program interested in implementing this series for III credit

Updated January 2021:

Please read more on coaching and our Educator Dashboard. Please contact us if you have any questions, comments or concerns.

Sponsorship

The AIR Series is generously support and sponsored by the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine and the Council of EM Residency Directors.

ALiEM AIR | Neurology 2019 Module

Welcome to the Neurology Module! After carefully reviewing all relevant posts from the top 50 sites of the Social Media Index, the ALiEM AIR Team is proud to present the highest quality online content related to neurological emergencies. 6 blog posts within the past 12 months (as of January 2019) met our standard of online excellence and were curated and approved for residency training by the AIR Series Board. We identified 1 AIR and 5 Honorable Mentions. We recommend programs give 3 hours (about 30 minutes per article) of III credit for this module. (more…)

ALiEM AIR | Stroke Module

Welcome to the Stroke Module! After carefully reviewing all relevant posts from the top 50 sites of the Social Media Index, the AIR Team is proud to present the highest quality online content related to Stroke emergencies. 7 blog posts within the past 12 months (as of October 2018) met our standard of online excellence and were curated and approved for residency training by the AIR Series Board. We identified 0 AIR and 7 Honorable Mentions. We recommend programs give 3.5 hours (about 30 minutes per article) of III credit for this module.

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ALiEM AIR Non-ACS Cardiovascular Module

Welcome to the Non-ACS Cardiovascular Module! After carefully reviewing all relevant posts from the top 50 sites of the Social Media Index, the AIR Team is proud to present the highest quality online content related to non-acs cardiovascular emergencies. 5 blog posts within the past 12 months (as of September 2018) met our standard of online excellence and were curated and approved for residency training by the AIR Series Board. We identified 2 AIR and 3 Honorable Mentions. We recommend programs give 2.5 hours (about 30 minutes per article) of III credit for this module.

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ALiEM AIR Acute Coronary Syndrome Module

Welcome to the Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) Module! After carefully reviewing all relevant posts from the top 50 sites of the Social Media Index, the AIR Team is proud to present the highest quality online content related to ACS emergencies. 13 blog posts within the past 12 months (as of July 2018) met our standard of online excellence and were curated and approved for residency training by the AIR Series Board. We identified 2 AIR and 11 Honorable Mentions. We recommend programs give 5.5 hours (about 25 minutes per article) of III credit for this module.

 

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SAEM is teaming up with us and exclusively sponsoring the AIR Series

SAEM sponsors AIR series

The Society of Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) is now the exclusive, multi-year sponsor of the Approved Instructional Resources (AIR) Series! This series has curated and graded open-access blog posts and podcasts in the field of EM since 2014 to identify and provide high quality, social media-based, educational resources for EM residents. It is one the most used resources for Individualized Interactive Instruction (III) credit, and plus it is free!  We look forward to working more with SAEM, who shares our grand vision for medical education.

This aligns perfectly with our recently re-launched ALiEMU “be free to learn” learning management platform, which houses all of the AIR modules as well as the Capsule Series and In-Training Exam Quizzes. Check out the entire Course Catalog. We can’t wait to share with you the new upcoming content.

ALiEMU AIR Obstetrics and Gynecology Module

Welcome to the Obstetrics and Gynecology (Ob/Gyn) Module! After carefully reviewing all relevant posts from the top 50 sites of the Social Media Index, the ALiEM AIR Team is proud to present the highest quality online content related to Ob/Gyn emergencies. 10 blog posts within the past 12 months (as of July 2018) met our standard of online excellence and were curated and approved for residency training by the AIR Series Board. We identified 2 AIR and 8 Honorable Mentions. We recommend programs give 4 hours (about 25 minutes per article) of III credit for this module.

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ALiEMU AIR Peripheral Vascular Disease Module

Welcome to the Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) Module! After carefully reviewing all relevant posts from the top 50 sites of the Social Media Index, the ALiEM AIR Team is proud to present the highest quality online content related to PVD emergencies. 2 blog posts within the past 12 months (as of May 2018) met our standard of online excellence and were curated and approved for residency training by the AIR Series Board. We identified 0 AIR and 2 Honorable Mentions. We recommend programs give 1 hour (about 30 minutes per article) of III credit for this module.

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