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Am J Pharm Educ. 2009 Dec 17;73(8):158.

Assessment to transform competency-based curricula.

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University of Iowa College of Pharmacy, Iowa City, IA 52242-1112, USA.


The objective of this paper was to apply Kotter's 8 steps to transforming organizations as a framework for the role of assessment in competency-based curricular reform. Two analyses were conducted including (1) environmental scan of literature about assessment in curricular reform and (2) qualitative analyses of data from a college of pharmacy which instituted curricular reform. These assessment-focused data sources were interpreted in view of Kotter's 8 steps. Creating a sense of urgency, forming a powerful guiding coalition, creating a vision and creating short-term wins were the 4 steps most evident in the literature. In the case study, creating a sense of urgency, forming a powerful guiding coalition, creating short-term wins, consolidating improvements, and producing additional change were most important. The case study also indicated that (a) the history or climate of the institution in dealing with change, and (b) involving individuals with specific expertise as part of the leadership group were also important. Recommendations (PREPARE) were developed. Assessment is an enabling and valuable element in each stage of curricular transformation when guided by Kotter's model.

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