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Vol. 45. Issue 1.
Pages 39-48 (January - February 2021)
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Vol. 45. Issue 1.
Pages 39-48 (January - February 2021)
Original article
Exploring the residents’ perspective on smart learning modalities and contents for virtual urology education: Lesson learned during the COVID-19 pandemic
Explorando la perspectiva de los residentes sobre las modalidades y contenidos de aprendizaje inteligente para la educación virtual de urología: lección aprendida durante la pandemia de la COVID-19
R. Campia,
Corresponding author

Corresponding author.
, D. Amparored, E. Checcuccic,d, F. Clapse, J. Yuen-Chun Teohf, S. Sernia,b, R.M. Scarpag, F. Porpigliad, D.M. Carrionc,h,i, J. Gomez Rivasc,i, S. Loeba, G.E. Cacciamania, F. Espertoc,g, on behalf of the European Society of Residents in Urology
a Department of Urology, Careggi Hospital, University of Florence, Florence, Italy
b Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, Italy
c European Society of Residents in Urology (ESRU), Arnhem, The Netherlands
d Division of Urology, Department of Oncology, School of Medicine, San Luigi Hospital, University of Turin, Orbassano, Turin, Italy
e Urological Clinic Department of Medicine, Surgery and Health Sciences, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy
f S.H. Ho Urology Centre, Department of Surgery, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
g Department of Urology, Campus Biomedico, University of Rome, Rome, Italy
h Autonomous University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain
i Department of Urology, La Paz University Hospital, Madrid, Spain
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Tables (3)
Table 1. Baseline characteristics of residents participating in the survey, stratified by Continent (Europe vs non-Europe).
Table 2. Influence of demographic characteristics of participants on the proportion of residents considering each modality and content for smart learning as highly useful.
Table 3. Influence of training-specific characteristics of participants on the proportion of residents considering each modality and content for smart learning as highly useful.
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Additional material (1)

The COVID-19 outbreak has substantially altered residents’ training activities.

While several new virtual learning programs have been recently implemented, the perspective of urology trainees regarding their usefulness still needs to be investigated.


A cross-sectional, 30-item, web-based Survey was conducted through Twitter from April 4th, 2020 to April 18th, 2020, aiming to evaluate the urology residents’ perspective on smart learning (SL) modalities (pre-recorded videos, webinars, podcasts, and social media [SoMe]), and contents (frontal lessons, clinical case discussions, updates on Guidelines and on clinical trials, surgical videos, Journal Clubs, and seminars on leadership and non-technical skills).


Overall, 501 urology residents from 58 countries completed the survey. Of these, 78.4, 78.2, 56.9 and 51.9% of them considered pre-recorded videos, interactive webinars, podcasts and SoMe highly useful modalities of smart learning, respectively. The contents considered as highly useful by the greatest proportion of residents were updates on guidelines (84.8%) and surgical videos (81.0%). In addition, 58.9 and 56.5% of responders deemed seminars on leadership and on non-technical skills highly useful smart learning contents.

The three preferred combinations of smart learning modality and content were: pre-recorded surgical videos, interactive webinars on clinical cases, and pre-recorded videos on guidelines.


Our study provides the first global “big picture” of the smart learning modalities and contents that should be prioritized to optimize virtual Urology education. While this survey was conducted during the COVID-19 outbreak, our findings might have even more impact in the future.

Smart learning

La pandemia de la COVID-19 ha alterado sustancialmente las actividades de formación de los residentes.

Si bien recientemente se han implementado nuevos programas de aprendizaje virtual, aún debe investigarse su utilidad desde la perspectiva de los aprendices de urología.


Encuesta online transversal de 30 ítems, distribuida a través de Twitter, entre el 4 y el 18 de abril de 2020, con el objetivo de evaluar la perspectiva de los residentes de urología sobre las modalidades (videos pregrabados, seminarios web, podcasts y redes sociales [RRSS]) y contenidos (lecciones frontales, discusiones de casos clínicos, actualizaciones sobre guías y ensayos clínicos, videos quirúrgicos, clubes de revistas y seminarios sobre liderazgo y habilidades no técnicas) del aprendizaje inteligente (Smart learning).


En total, 501 residentes de urología de 58 países completaron la encuesta. De estos, 78,4, 78,2, 56,9 y 51,9% consideraron los videos pregrabados, seminarios web interactivos, podcasts y RRSS, respectivamente, como modalidades de aprendizaje inteligente muy útiles. Los contenidos considerados como muy útiles por la mayor proporción de residentes fueron las actualizaciones de guías clínicas (84,8%) y videos quirúrgicos (81,0%). Además, más de la mitad de los residentes consideraron los seminarios de liderazgo y los de habilidades no técnicas (58,9 y 56,5%, respectivamente) como contenidos útiles para el aprendizaje inteligente.

Las tres combinaciones preferidas de modalidad y contenido de aprendizaje inteligente fueron: videos quirúrgicos pregrabados, seminarios web interactivos sobre casos clínicos y videos pregrabados sobre guías.


Nuestro estudio proporciona la primera «visión global» de las modalidades y contenidos de aprendizaje inteligente que deben priorizarse con el objetivo de optimizar la educación virtual en urología. Aunque este estudio se llevó a cabo durante la pandemia de la COVID-19, nuestros hallazgos podrían tener un impacto aún mayor en el futuro.

Palabras clave:
Aprendizaje inteligente


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