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Open Access Research article

Developing and analysing a curriculum map in Occupational- and Environmental Medicine

Inga Hege1*, Dennis Nowak2, Stefanie Kolb2, Martin R Fischer3 and Katja Radon2

Author Affiliations

1 Medical Education Unit, University Hospital Munich, Medizinische Klinik - Innenstadt, Ziemssenstr. 1, D-80336 Munich, Germany

2 Institute and Outpatient Clinic for Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Ziemssenstr. 1, D-80336 Munich, Germany

3 Institute for Learning and Educational Research in the Health Sciences, Private University Witten/Herdecke gGmbH, Germany

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BMC Medical Education 2010, 10:60  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-10-60

Published: 14 September 2010

Abstract

Background

During the last 5 years a fundamental curriculum reform was realized at the medical school of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University. In contrast to those efforts, the learning objectives were not defined consistently for the curriculum and important questions concerning the curriculum could not be answered. This also applied to Occupational and Environmental Medicine where teachers of both courses were faced with additional problems such as the low number of students attending the lectures.

The aims of the study were to develop and analyse a curriculum map for Occupational and Environmental Medicine based on learning objectives using a web-based database.

Furthermore we aimed to evaluate student perception about the curricular structure.

Methods

Using a web-based learning objectives database, a curriculum map for Occupational and Environmental Medicine was developed and analysed. Additionally online evaluations of students for each course were conducted.

Results

The results show a discrepancy between the taught and the assessed curriculum. For both curricula, we identified that several learning objectives were not covered in the curriculum. There were overlaps with other content domains and redundancies within both curricula. 53% of the students in Occupational Medicine and 43% in Environmental Medicine stated that there is a lack of information regarding the learning objectives of the curriculum.

Conclusions

The results of the curriculum mapping and the poor evaluation results for the courses suggest a need for re-structuring both curricula.