The new MBBS Curriculum is running well, and is into its final term of its first academic year. To reflect on the progress so far, Professor Jane Dacre and Dr Deborah Gill hosted a review day, held at the Whittington Education Centre for all the curriculum leads. They went through all years, and also the new vertical modules. The workshop was extremely constructive, and came up with a list of actions to make sure we stay on track.
Most of the changes are embedding really well, but areas for improvement have been highlighted including:
- We need to recognise that change is difficult, even if it is change for the good. The UCL MBBS programme currently scores very highly in the National Student Survey with an overall student satisfaction of over 90%. The new curriculum has the potential to destabilise this position as it ‘beds in’. All involved in delivery will need to work hard to maintain an excellent student experience during a period of change and we need to take staff and students with us and ensure moving forward feels safe and the right thing to do.
- It is important to not lose momentum now the exciting launch is over. Curricula evolve constantly and so new changes will be needed in the period following the initial launch.
- The new curriculum requires more integrated ways of working. Gone are the old disciplinary boundaries. Integrated modules need new partners for design and delivery. We need to review structural issues that impede delivery.
- We need to continue to work towards better integration and resist disintegration.
- We need to pay attention to workforce/resources considerations as we implement further changes.
- Communication is key to success and we need to look at maintaining, and in some areas increasing, communication.
- We need to remain flexible to deal with significant health services reconfiguration.
- We need to be mindful of the demands of a modern medical course and look at the most satisfactory ways of achieving Vertical Moldule learning objectives.
- Year 4 needs particular attention to ensure more uniformity of experience, a balance between generic focus and specialties, encouraging engagement with some Vertical Modules, managing the transition, sharpening the focus of GP activity and addressing the lack of community placements other than GP.
Priorities agreed in meeting
- Establish a new year 1 & 2 assessment working group
- Revisit and review some Vertical Modules
- Define and support integration
- Define and communicate what is ‘compulsory’
- Give particular attention to Module 4c
- Ensure money follows students in a transparent way: we have the allocation mostly right but how do we impact on what happens when it enters faculties and trusts?
- Review the balance between face to face teaching and use of the Virtual Learning Environment
- Establish better communication channels and methods including evaluation
- Include consultation for further change
- Ensure timetables and module management support aims
Of course, curriculum review is a never ending process, so we will keep polishing, and keep you all informed along the way.