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: Cardiology Module, Part 1 (2015)

There is a phenomenal amount of cardiology content in the FOAMsphere. Accordingly, the CORD testing schedule and our cardiology module has been divided into two parts – Part 1 (ACS) and Part 2 (CHF, Vascular Dissection, and Other). Below we have listed our selection of the 14 highest quality blog posts within the past 12 months (as of July 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 8 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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AIR Series: Respiratory Part 2 (2015)

We found an enormous amount of respiratory content and thus have divided the respiratory module into two modules. While the first module focused on general respiratory issues, this second module is focused on airway and pulmonary embolism. Below we have listed our selection of the 15 highest quality blog posts within the past 12 months (current as of March 2015) related to respiratory, curated and approved for residency training by the AIR Series Board. In this module we have 4 AIRs and 11 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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AIR Series: Respiratory Part 1 (2015)

We found an enormous amount of posts on respiratory topics and thus have divided the content into two modules. This first module will focus on general respiratory issues with airway and pulmonary embolism covered in the second module. Below we have listed our selection of the 15 highest quality blog posts within the past 12 months (current as of April 2015) related to respiratory, curated and approved for residency training by the AIR Series Board. In this module we have 4 AIRs and 11 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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Sneak peek at ALiEMU: Free on-demand MOOC-like courses featuring the AIR Series

We are incredibly excited to announce the development of our newest project — ALiEMU. This top-secret project has been in the works for only 3 months, but has gained incredible momentum thanks to our all-star team, led by Dr. Chris Gaafary, who is our ALiEMU Chief of Design and Development… while he is not busy being an incoming EM chief resident at the University of Tennessee.

What is ALiEMU? The one-liner is: A free educational website which hosts free, on-demand e-courses, featuring the AIR series as the inaugural course.

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AIR Series: GU/Renal Module 2015

Welcome to the eighth ALiEM Approved Instructional Resources (AIR) Module! In an effort to reward our residents for the reading and learning they are already doing online we have created an Individual Interactive Instruction (III) opportunity utilizing FOAM resources for U.S. Emergency Medicine residents. For each module, the AIR board curates and scores a list of blogs and podcasts. A quiz is available to complete after each module to obtain residency conference credit. Once completed, your name and institution will be logged into our private database, which participating residency program directors can access to provide proof of completion.

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AIR Series: Ob/Gyn Module 2015

Welcome to the seventh ALiEM Approved Instructional Resources (AIR) Module! In an effort to reward our residents for the reading and learning they are already doing online we have created an Individual Interactive Instruction (III) opportunity utilizing FOAM resources for U.S. Emergency Medicine residents. For each module, the AIR board curates and scores a list of blogs and podcasts. A quiz is available to complete after each module to obtain residency conference credit. Once completed, your name and institution will be logged into our private database, which participating residency program directors can access to provide proof of completion.

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AIR Series: Psychiatry Module 2014

Welcome to the fifth ALiEM Approved Instructional Resources (AIR) Module! In an effort to reward our residents for the reading and learning they are already doing online we have created an  Individual Interactive Instruction (III) opportunity utilizing FOAM resources for U.S. Emergency Medicine residents. For each module, the AIR board curates and scores a list of blogs and podcasts. A quiz is available to complete after each module to obtain residency conference credit. Once completed, your name and institution will be logged into our private database, which participating residency program directors can access to provide proof of completion.

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