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.

AIR Series: Toxicology Module (2017)

Welcome to the Toxicology 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 toxicology content. Below we have listed our selection of the 6 highest quality blog posts within the past 12 months (as of January 2017) related to Toxicologic emergencies, curated and approved for residency training by the AIR Series Board. More specifically in this module, we identified 0 AIRs and Honorable Mentions. We recommend programs give 2 hours (about 20 minutes per article) of III credit for this module. As of June 2017, the AIR series is now being used by over 125 residency programs with over 1,200 residents completing at least one module in the 2016-2017 academic year.

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AIR Series: Trauma Module (2017)

Welcome to the Trauma 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 procedure content. Below we have listed our selection of the 21 highest quality blog posts within the past 12 months (as of September 2016) related to Trauma emergencies, curated and approved for residency training by the AIR Series Board. More specifically in this module, we identified 5 AIRs and 16 Honorable Mentions. We recommend programs give 7 hours (about 20 minutes per article) of III credit for this module.

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AIR Series: Respiratory Module (2017)

Welcome to the Respiratory 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 procedure content. Below we have listed our selection of the 12 highest quality blog posts within the past 12 months (as of August 2016) related to Respiratory emergencies, curated and approved for residency training by the AIR Series Board. More specifically in this module, we identified 4 AIRs and 8 Honorable Mentions. We recommend programs give 4 hours (about 20 minutes per article) of III credit for this module.

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AIR Series: Infectious Disease Module (2016)

Welcome to the Infectious Disease 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 procedure content. Below we have listed our selection of the 18 highest quality blog posts within the past 12 months (as of August 2016) related to Infectious Disease emergencies, curated and approved for residency training by the AIR Series Board. More specifically in this module, we identified 2 AIRs and 16 Honorable Mentions. We recommend programs give 6 hours (about 20 minutes per article) of III credit for this module.

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AIR Series: Procedures Module (2016)

Welcome to the Procedures 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 procedure content. Below we have listed our selection of the 13 highest quality blog posts within the past 12 months (as of June 2016) related to procedure emergencies, curated and approved for residency training by the AIR Series Board. More specifically in this module, we identified 3 AIRs and 10 Honorable Mentions. We recommend programs give 4 hours (about 20 minutes per article) of III credit for this module.

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AIR Series and AIR-Pro Series are moving to ALiEMU!

The ALiEM Approved Instructional Resources (AIR) and AIR-Pro series are moving from this ALiEM blog, which uses embedded Google Forms for quizzes into our custom learning management system called ALiEMU. ALiEMU will be our one-stop system for asynchronous learning. For U.S. EM residency programs, this will also serve as a central repository for Individualized Interactive Instruction (III) resources for asynchronous conference credit. The cornerstone e-course already on ALiEMU is CAPSULES — a comprehensive EM pharmacology curriculum, whose authorship and editorial team is led by Dr. Bryan Hayes.

For the AIR and AIR-Pro series, we have over 80 U.S. EM residency programs, 4 international EM programs, and 1 PA program using either or both of these series as a part of their didactic curriculum. With over one year’s worth of educational content, we now want to make the user experience more friendly such that one can longitudinally track progress, and programs and easily report their residents’ total III hours for the academic year to the Residency Review Committee (RRC).

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AIR Series: Orthopedics Upper Extremity Module (2016)

Welcome to the Orthopedics Upper Extremity 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 orthopedic upper extremity content. Below we have listed our selection of the 14 highest quality blog posts within the past 12 months (as of March 2016) related to orthopedic upper extremity emergencies, curated and approved for residency training by the AIR Series Board. More specifically in this module, we identified 2 AIRs and 12 Honorable Mentions. We recommend programs give 5 hours (just over 20 minutes per article) of III credit for this module.

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