Expanding our Roles: Embedded in Curriculum Design

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Butera, Gisela; Gomes, Alexandra; Harrod, Thomas; Kakar, Seema; Frank, Julia B.; Owens, Jennifer
Curriculum Design; Medical Education; Librarian Roles; Teams; Curriculum Design; Medical Education; Librarian Roles; Teams; Curriculum and Instruction; Higher Education; Library and Information Science; Medicine and Health Sciences
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Objectives To describe how librarians became involved in helping to design curriculum for Problem- Based Learning (PBL) Course for first- and second-year medical students. Librarians became part of a team collaborating with medical faculty to revise the PBL curriculum, incorporating innovative teaching techniques and creating effective simulated patient case scenarios. Methods In August 2010, the PBL Director contacted the Library to help revise 10 cases for second-year problem-based learning course. Two librarians joined the PBL multi-disciplinary curriculum team meeting bi-weekly to create and revise medical tutor and student guides, and case modules. The cases successfully evolved from paper handouts to interactive PowerPoint modules with embedded videos. In the fall of 2011, the team continued revising the cases for second-year and expanded the process to revamp the first-year PBL curriculum. In the spring of 2012, four cases added standardized patients to enrich the experience of students' patient interactions and apply psychosocial learning objectives including EBM informatics. Spring 2012 semester the team collaborated in conducting an IRB-approved research study evaluating the effectiveness and learning outcomes for students participating in the PBL curriculum case on abortion and sexual reproduction. Results The librarians’ met regularly with the PBL Program Director, and collaborated with Medical Faculty and Standardized Patient department to revise PBL cases. The librarians’ key contributions focused on revising and editing PBL Tutor Guides, providing technical expertise, Blackboard support, navigating copyright and updating medical literature. As the PBL cases evolved, a core team developed the research study, resulting in opportunities for qualitative and quantitative research as well as subsequent publishing. Conclusions Working within a multi-disciplinary collaborative team on curriculum development allows for librarians to move beyond the traditional role of instruction. The embedded role highlights the additional contributions librarians can make to the team in the areas of technology and research.