HSC Education Days

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Context: Clinical documentation is a professional responsibility of healthcare providers, including athletic trainers (ATs). Previous research has identified that ATs desire continuing education (CE) opportunities specific to documentation. We investigated the effectiveness of different online CE formats to improve ATs’ knowledge of clinical documentation.

Methods: We used a sequential explanatory mixed-methods randomized controlled trial design. After recruiting 18,981 practicing ATs, interested participants were randomly enrolled into a group: online personalized learning platform that included videos, presentations, case studies, documents, and knowledge checks (PLP, n=39), passive online reading list (PAS, n=44), or control without resources (CON, n=77)]. Baseline and follow-up knowledge scores were assessed in addition to obtaining PLP and PAS participants’ perceptions of their experiences accessing the resources. Twenty-nine participants were interviewed via Zoom using validated and piloted interview guides. After saturation was obtained, data were qualitatively analyzed by 3 investigators and 1 external auditor. Trustworthiness was embedded throughout the research process with the use of a peer reviewer, external auditor, multiple-analyst triangulation, and source triangulation.

Results: PLP participants’ knowledge scores increased significantly compared to PAS and CON groups and had the highest post-assessment scores. Qualitatively, five themes emerged from the data, including knowledge of documentation, mechanisms of learning, benefits of the educational resources, structure of the educational modules, and barriers to reviewing the educational resources.

Conclusions: The online personalized learning platform was an effective learning method to improve knowledge and perceived confidence regarding clinical documentation. PLPs can be used in a variety of settings, professions, and topics.

Educators, future researchers, and developers of CE should consider using the PLP format when developing future CE courses.

1. Describe the benefits of different continuing education formats for learning clinical documentation.

2. Identify differences in knowledge change among ATs who completed the personalized learning pathway, passive reading list, or no resources.

3. Compare characteristics of active and passive learning for continuing education in healthcare.


Presented at the HSC Education Days Event



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