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: Orthopedics Lower Extremity Module (2016)

Welcome to the Orthopedics Lower 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 lower extremity content. Below we have listed our selection of the 3 highest quality blog posts within the past 12 months (as of March 2016) related to orthopedic lower extremity emergencies, curated and approved for residency training by the AIR Series Board. More specifically in this module, we identified 1 AIRs and 2 Honorable Mentions. We recommend programs give 1 hour (20 minutes per article) of III credit for this module.

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AIR Series: Cutaneous Module

Welcome to the Cutaneous 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 cutaneous content. Below we have listed our selection of the 4 highest quality blog posts within the past 12 months (as of February 2015) related to dermatology emergencies, curated and approved for residency training by the AIR Series Board. More specifically in this module, we identified 0 AIRs and 4 Honorable Mentions.

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AIR Series: Neurology Module 2 – Headaches, Seizures, and Other

Welcome to the Second 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 neurology content relating to headaches, seizures, and other neurologic emergencies. Below we have listed our selection of the 17 highest quality blog posts within the past 12 months (as of December 2015) related to neurologic emergencies, curated and approved for residency training by the AIR Series Board. More specifically in this module, we identified 9 AIRs and 8 Honorable Mentions.

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AIR Series: Neurology Module 1 – Bleeds and Strokes

Welcome to the first 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 neurology content relating to intracranial hemorrhage and stokes. Below we have listed our selection of the 17 highest quality blog posts within the past 12 months (as of November 2015) related to neurologic emergencies, curated and approved for residency training by the AIR Series Board. More specifically in this module, we identified 5 AIRs and 12 Honorable Mentions.

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AIR Series: Environmental Module 2

Unlike the previous cardiology modules, the environmental module was comparatively under-represented in the top 50 sites of the Social Media Index. Below we have listed our selection of the 4 highest quality blog posts within the past 12 months (as of October 2015) related to environmental emergencies, curated and approved for residency training by the AIR Series Board. More specifically in this module, we identified 2 AIRs and 2 Honorable Mentions.

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AIR Series: Environmental Module

Unlike the previous cardiology modules, the environmental module was comparatively under-represented in the top 50 sites of the Social Media Index. Below we have listed our selection of the 3 highest quality blog posts within the past 12 months (as of September 2015) related to environmental emergencies, curated and approved for residency training by the AIR Series Board. More specifically in this module, we identified 0 AIRs and 3 Honorable Mentions.

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AIR Series: Cardiology – CHF, PVD, and Others (part 2)

As mentioned last module, the FOAMsphere contains a phenomenal amount of cardiology content. Accordingly, the CORD testing schedule and our cardiology module has been divided into two parts. Below we have listed our selection of the 12 highest quality blog posts within the past 12 months (as of August 2015) related to acute coronary syndromes, curated and approved for residency training by the AIR Series Board. In this module we have 6 AIRs and 6 Honorable Mentions. We strive for comprehensiveness by selecting from a broad spectrum of blogs from the top 50 listing per the Social Media Index.

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