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Home Technologies An eLearning platform with comprehensive engagement analytics and curated content to advance surgical education
An eLearning platform with comprehensive engagement analytics and curated content to advance surgical education

An eLearning platform with comprehensive engagement analytics and curated content to advance surgical education

Unmet Need

As medicine continues to evolve and complexify while academic faculty face growing time constraints, self-study tools like online learning (eLearning) become invaluable for bridging the gap in medical trainee education. In particular, eLearning offers a promising possibility for curating medical education for the over 7000 surgical residents in the US. Surgical residents with an auditory learning style (40-50% of all surgical residents) are known to be one of the highest performers on the United States Medical Licensing Exams (USMLE). However, these auditory-oriented residents underperform on the American Board of Surgery In-Service Training Examination (ABSITE) because of the lack of quality educational material in an auditory format at reasonable prices. While this material can be provided as podcasts, existing hosting platforms do not provide data with sufficient granularity to link user engagement to outcome improvement, making it difficult to validate educational intervention efficacy. There is a need for an auditory e-Learning platform that provides comprehensive user engagement data optimized for evaluating the efficacy of education content.


Duke inventors have developed a podcast platform with comprehensive user analytics optimized for eLearning. This is intended to be a tool for educational research and interventions to help evaluate user engagement and intervention efficacy. Specifically, the platform consists of the Duke Surgery Podcast iOS hosting app and ABSITEology podcast content provided by surgical experts covering topics tested annually on ABSITE. The app matches users to their demographic and learning style profiles and allows streaming, downloading, content search and sort as well as different playback speed settings. Data collection includes listening time, speed control, skip and replay metrics among others and more data fields can be added as needed. An administrative website allows uploading of content and downloading of analytics. This has been demonstrated in an ongoing research study evaluating whether an auditory education intervention providing curated ABSITE content in podcast format on this platform can improve ABSITE performance for Duke surgical residents.

Other Applications

This technology could also be adapted for academic research on educational interventions in other fields, for optimizing eLearning content delivery in general, and for commercial use where content creators want to comprehensively track user engagement and optimize content for their audience.


  • Podcast platform optimized for eLearning offers comprehensive user engagement data analytics.
  • Enables iterative content improvement by marking points of low listenership and high drop-off rates.
  • Allows development of evidence-based educational interventions by linking engagement data to student outcomes.
  • Helps enhance faculty educational portfolio by providing empirical evidence of their impact on student engagement and outcomes.

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