The Radiation Oncology Education Collaborative Study Group 2020 Spring Symposium: Is Virtual the New Reality?

Bailey A. Nelson, Kaitlyn Lapen, Olivia Schultz, Joseph Nangachiveettil, Steve E. Braunstein, Christian Fernandez, Emma C. Fields, Jillian R. Gunther, Elizabeth Jeans, Rachel B. Jimenez, Jordan R. Kharofa, Anna Laucis, Raphael L. Yechieli, Erin F. Gillespie, Daniel W. Golden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Radiation Oncology Education Collaborative Study Group (ROECSG) hosted its annual international symposium using a virtual format in May 2020. This report details the experience of hosting a virtual meeting and presents attendee feedback on the platform. Methods and Materials: The ROECSG symposium was hosted virtually on May 15, 2020. A postsymposium survey was distributed electronically to assess attendee demographics, participation, and experience. Attendee preference and experience were queried using 3-point and 5-point Likert-type scales, respectively. Symplur LLC was used to generate analytics for the conference hashtag (#ROECSG). Results: The survey was distributed to all 286 registrants, with a response rate of 67% (191 responses). Seventeen nonattendee responses were omitted from this analysis, for a total of 174 included respondents. Eighty-two attendees (47%) were present for the entire symposium. A preference for a virtual symposium was expressed by 78 respondents (45%), whereas 44 (25%) had no preference and 52 (30%) preferred an in-person meeting. A total of 150 respondents (86%) rated the symposium as “extremely” well organized. Respondents who had not attended a prior in-person ROECSG symposium were more likely to prefer the virtual format (P = .03). Seventy-eight respondents (45%) reported a preference for the virtual platform for reviewing scholarly work, and 103 (59%) reported a preference for an in-person platform for networking. On the day of the symposium, #ROECSG had 408 tweets and 432,504 impressions. Conclusions: The 2020 ROECSG symposium was well received and can serve as a framework for future virtual meetings. Although the virtual setting may facilitate sharing research, networking aspects are more limited. Effort is needed to develop hybrid virtual and in-person meetings that meet the needs of participants in both settings. Social media is a significant avenue for dissemination and discussion of information and may be valuable in the virtual setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-321
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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