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GMS J Med Educ. 2017 Feb 15;34(1):Doc7. doi: 10.3205/zma001084. eCollection 2017.

Monitoring and analysis of the change process in curriculum mapping compared to the National Competency-based Learning Objective Catalogue for Undergraduate Medical Education (NKLM) at four medical faculties. Part I: Conducive resources and structures.

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University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Medicine, Competence Centre for University Teaching in Medicine Baden-Wuerttemberg, Tuebingen, Germany.
University of Freiburg, Medical Faculty, Competency Centre for Evaluation in Medicine Baden-Wuerttemberg, Freiburg, Germany.
University of Heidelberg, Medical Faculty, Center of Excellence for Assessment in Medicine - Baden-Wuerttemberg, Heidelberg, Germany.
University of Heidelberg, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Competence Centre of Final Year, Mannheim, Germany.
University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Medicine, Dean's Office of Student Affairs, Tuebingen, Germany.


in English, German

Objective: After passing of the National Competency-based Learning Objectives Catalogue in Medicine (Nationaler Kompetenzbasierter Lernzielkatalog Medizin, [NKLM, retrieved on 22.03.2016]), the German medical faculties must take inventory and develop their curricula. NKLM contents are expected to be present, but not linked well or sensibly enough in locally grown curricula. Learning and examination formats must be reviewed for appropriateness and coverage of the competences. The necessary curricular transparency is best achieved by systematic curriculum mapping, combined with effective change management. Mapping a complex existing curriculum and convincing a faculty that this will have benefits is not easy. Headed by Tübingen, the faculties of Freiburg, Heidelberg, Mannheim and Tübingen take inventory by mapping their curricula in comparison to the NKLM, using the dedicated web-based MERLIN-database. This two-part article analyses and summarises how NKLM curriculum mapping could be successful in spite of resistance at the faculties. The target is conveying the widest possible overview of beneficial framework conditions, strategies and results. Part I of the article shows the beneficial resources and structures required for implementation of curriculum mapping at the faculties. Part II describes key factors relevant for motivating faculties and teachers during the mapping process. Method: The network project was systematically planned in advance according to steps of project and change management, regularly reflected on and adjusted together in workshops and semi-annual project meetings. From the beginning of the project, a grounded-theory approach was used to systematically collect detailed information on structures, measures and developments at the faculties using various sources and methods, to continually analyse them and to draw a final conclusion (sources: surveys among the project participants with questionnaires, semi-structured group interviews and discussions, guideline-supported individual interviews, informal surveys, evaluation of target agreements and protocols, openly discernible local, regional or over-regional structure-relevant events). Results: The following resources and structures support implementation of curriculum mapping at a faculty: Setting up a coordination agency (≥50% of a full position; support by student assistants), systematic project management, and development of organisation and communication structures with integration of the dean of study and teaching and pilot departments, as well as development of a user-friendly web-based mapping instrument. Acceptance of the mapping was increased particularly by visualisation of the results and early insight into indicative results relevant for the department. Conclusion: Successful NKLM curriculum mapping requires trained staff for coordination, resilient communication structures and a user-oriented mapping database. In alignment with literature, recommendations can be derived to support other faculties that want to map their curriculum.


Curriculum mapping; change management; competence orientation; competency-based; medical education

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