Tips and Tricks when Creating an Educational Tool Family Medicine Resident Project

Before you start thinking about developing an educational tool, you need to consult the literature to find out the following:

  • Does a tool already exist?
  • Could you revise an existing tool?
  • Could you adopt an existing tool to local conditions?

If no educational tool exists for what you want to do, go back to the literature. Remember, an educational tool’s information has to be grounded in the scientific literature.

Also, if you select an educational tool as your resident project, it needs to be accompanied by a literature review paper. The purpose of this is that the reviewer can assess that the information in the educational tool is scientifically sound.

Once you have determined that you want to create your own educational tool, you need to consider the following:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What is the message you want to provide?
  • What is the medium you want to use for the educational tool?
    • Paper, Internet, video, etc.
      • Do you have easy access to such mediums?
  • What reading level should you aim for? (readability)
  • Should the tool be interactive, passive?
  • Consider the cost of an educational tool?
    • Do you need professionals to help with the design and what is the cost?
    • Are you going to distribute the tool and how many copies and what is the cost?

Also, you need to consider if you will test your tool on the target audience. Even a small pilot test may inform you about the readability and validity of the educational tool.

An educational tool should be

  • Fun
  • Visually compelling
  • Use images
  • Limit text
  • Make your material easy to understand
  • Create a “story” plot