Helping Students Navigate a Large Integrated Medical Program
Managing course complexity via MyUni
The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences has embarked upon the ambitious goal of implementing a new Bachelor of Medical Studies, Doctor of Medicine (BMS/MD) program, with rollout beginning Semester 1 of this year. The program is comprised of large and complex 12-unit courses, with academic input for the Year 1 courses provided by over 100 different academic staff and clinicians from multiple Faculties, Schools and disciplines. In light of this unusual level of complexity, the Strategic Programs and Partnerships group within LEI has worked with the Adelaide Medical School and student focus groups to develop a new, easy-to-navigate approach to MyUni course design.
A streamlined design
Students enrolled in the new medical program navigate their courses either via the redesigned module view, or via a course roadmap that provides a high-level summary and links to each topic. Topics are categorised across the four domains of medical learning (Science & Scholarship, Professionalism & Leadership, Health & Society, and Clinical Practice), which have corresponding learning outcomes and assessment. The final component of each topic is a teaching activity, which comprise of lectures, tutorials, workshops and practicals that are presented to students either fully in-platform or via face-to-face sessions with online support materials.
An additional ‘program-level course’ in MyUni also serves as a central hub, housing resources related to aspects of the overarching program, and allows for the issuing of relevant communications to students at course or program level.
Icons and colours were designed to represent each of the four domains. These are used throughout the platform and in lectures to help students link each learning topic with its relevant domains, forming a simple schema to assist with the presentation of information and aid effective learning. Additional platform features include styled text blocks to provide further student instruction and direct links to electronic textbooks held by the library.
Each week begins with an overview of the teaching activities and supporting resources consisting of downloadable learning outcomes to assist with student revision and a timetable detailing face to face sessions. Although the timetable may be more suited to a ‘closed’ cohort approach such as medicine, the connection of teaching activities with learning outcomes is a useful in any program and feedback from student focus groups has indicated that these resources have helped them to manage their time more effectively.
The overarching goal of this project has been to build complementary teaching resources that support the delivery of a uniquely integrated University of Adelaide learning experience, addressing the needs of the program curriculum, the overarching student experience and program accreditation requirements. The development approach has incorporated a series of student focus groups and embedded course surveys that have been used to guide design decisions. In total, 33 students have attended 6 hours of combined focus groups and a further 152 responses have been collected from short surveys embedded in courses. Ongoing feedback from both students and academic staff teaching into the program has been positive and the structure created will continue to support development across the full program.