August 3, 2016

Testing the water with a model ship

toy boatModeling a new curriculum using our draft decision rules and criteria will help us identify problems in the process or framework before diving in and building a full scale version.

The UWSOP Curricular Innovation Guidance Team convened for two “mini-retreats” to test a focus group exercise in using our guiding principles and framework to create possible curricular approaches, incorporating specifics such as curricular model, course calendar, and other related concepts. During the first session on July 12, we split into two groups and separately developed rough sample curricular plans while using the framework as guidance, and noting any issues or questions. In the second session on August 3, we reconvened to debrief about the process and compare results.

Both groups produced models, questions, and considerations that shared many similarities, around issues such as:

  • Dr. Jennifer Danielson, guidance team member from the Department of Pharmacy and IPE and Experiential Education, shares considerations for early-experiential approaches

    Dr. Jennifer Danielson, guidance team member from the Department of Pharmacy and IPE and Experiential Education, shares considerations for early-experiential approaches

    Course sequence and grouping: How do we schedule courses in a logical and efficient way? What knowledge and skills are foundational and must come first? How much focus and depth should be spent on each topic? When should topics be introduced, and should they attempt to align with similar topics in the UW School of Medicine and School of Dentistry (which are both categorized by body systems), to allow for coordinated interprofessional training? Are new topics or material needed (for both hard and soft skills and knowledge), and if so how do we fit everything into a 4-year program? What topics would be better covered as admissions prerequisites, or perhaps in a “bootcamp” at the beginning of the program? How and when should electives be offered?

  • Assessing and mentoring student learning: What requirements or checkpoints should students meet before continuing on in the curriculum? How will remediation opportunities be incorporated? How can we make sure we aren’t overloading students and yet provide them the knowledge and experiences they need?
  • Instructional approaches: What kinds of instructional approaches should be incorporated to optimize learning and application? Should some courses be taught by integrated teaching teams or are individual courses preferred with shared course topic threads and strong communication between instructors to integrate content and allow for building between courses? How could team and leadership learning and development opportunities be implemented for both students and faculty?
  • Practical skills and experiential learning: Where should IPPE and APPEs occur? How and when should direct patient care experiences or content be translated or incorporated into the learning experience?

More in-depth input from faculty will be needed to provide guidance around these details before implementing a curricular plan. A half-day faculty retreat is being scheduled for this fall, to provide a collaborative forum for refining our guiding principles and curricular framework. The UWSOP Curricular Innovation Guidance Team anticipates our new curriculum will be ready in time to inform admissions for the incoming class of 2022—right on track for preparing the pharmacists of 2025!

Return to updates page