CurrMIT: A tool for managing medical school curricula

Division of Medical Education, Association of American Medical Colleges, Washington, DC 20037, USA.
Academic Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.93). 03/2003; 78(3):275-9.
Source: PubMed


The AAMC Curriculum Management & Information Tool (CurrMIT) is a relational database containing curriculum information from medical schools throughout the United States and Canada. CurrMIT can be used to document details of instruction, such as outcome objectives, resources, content, educational methods, assessment methods, and educational sites, which are being employed in curricula. CurrMIT contains basic information about nearly all required courses and clerkships being offered in the United States and Canada. The database contains descriptions of more than 15,000 courses and clerkships; approximately 115,000 "sessions"--e.g., lectures, labs, small-group discussions--and more than 400,000 keywords and word strings documenting the specific details of instruction associated with the courses, clerkships, and sessions. Some specific uses that schools have made of CurrMIT include review of demographics among patient cases being used in a case-based curriculum; comparisons of educational experiences between two geographically separate clinical campuses; and identification of unplanned redundancies and gaps in curricular content. CurrMIT has been designed to accommodate data from virtually any medical school curriculum; "traditional 2+2" curricula, problem-based curricula, and systems-based curricula, and variations of each of these, have been entered in CurrMIT by medical schools. The authors give an overview of the technology upon which the system is built and the training materials and workshops that the AAMC provides to faculty to support CurrMIT's use, and end by describing enhancements being planned for the system.

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    • "It was the first nationally based relational database to provide an analysis of medical curricula for purposes of institutional management (Salas et al. 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: Assessing the completeness of topic coverage in medical curricula is difficult to establish as no universal standard for completeness has been agreed upon. However, the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 Exam Content Outline may provide a beginning framework. This project developed a computer-based tool that matched ArizonaMed curriculum content (Tucson track) against a modified USMLE content outline. The project involved three phases: (1) the USMLE Step 1 content outline was deconstructed and translated using equivalent Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) terms; (2) a report was made of all MeSH terms used to identify the content in the ArizonaMed curriculum database, compared to the MeSH-modified USMLE outline, and the resulting matches are graphically expressed. The frequency with which each MeSH term appeared across the years also was reported; and (3) a retreat was held with faculty and others to ensure the MeSH-translated outline was accurate and complete. Faculty were able to visualize how content was being expressed among instructional blocks across the first two years. Results also assured faculty and students that all subjects contained in the USMLE content outline were covered in the curriculum. The success of this effort is leading to improvements in content-tracking capability for the ArizonaMed database.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2012 · Medical Teacher
    • "In a next step this would allow them to choose their favourite method of teaching, if learning objectives are covered in different courses or materials. Other usage scenarios could be to use the database to extract core areas of a curriculum or even to compare curricula with each other, similar to the approach the CurrMit database offers[4]. However, an important prerequisite for this would be a complete and up to date representation of the learning objectives of the curriculum, including the connections to the catalogue entries. "
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    ABSTRACT: A curriculum map gives an overall overview about a curriculum and what is taught where, when and how. At the medical faculty of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich (LMU) a curriculum mapping tool based on learning objectives was introduced some years ago. Since that time teachers could document the learning objectives of their courses in a standardised way. In this article we describe the status quo of our efforts and the challenges to implement such learning-objective-based curriculum map that reflects the overall curriculum at our faculty.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2012
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    • "The needs of the target audiences will evolve over time; a mechanism to regularly gather this information for use to update the curriculum should be included in curriculum maintenance [7,18]. Repeated needs assessments are likely to reveal unanticipated needs, and if acted upon will improve the curriculum [19]. In a sense, curriculum evaluation, defined as the final step of curriculum development, can include an evaluation of the needs of current users, and serve as a needs assessment for the next iteration of the curriculum. "
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    ABSTRACT: The Internet provides a means of disseminating medical education curricula, allowing institutions to share educational resources. Much of what is published online is poorly planned, does not meet learners' needs, or is out of date. Applying principles of curriculum development, adult learning theory and educational website design may result in improved online educational resources. Key steps in developing and implementing an education website include: 1) Follow established principles of curriculum development; 2) Perform a needs assessment and repeat the needs assessment regularly after curriculum implementation; 3) Include in the needs assessment targeted learners, educators, institutions, and society; 4) Use principles of adult learning and behavioral theory when developing content and website function; 5) Design the website and curriculum to demonstrate educational effectiveness at an individual and programmatic level; 6) Include a mechanism for sustaining website operations and updating content over a long period of time. Interactive, online education programs are effective for medical training, but require planning, implementation, and maintenance that follow established principles of curriculum development, adult learning, and behavioral theory.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2010 · BMC Medical Education
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