The medical school has an outstanding comprehensive evaluation system that engages students and faculty in continuous and meaningful curricular improvement and change.
Students at every level of their education participate in the on-line, anonymous evaluation of each course and clerkship, providing extensive quantitative and qualitative feedback on all aspects of the course or clerkship, including whether objectives were clear and adequately met. Student evaluation results are reviewed by the dean for educational affairs and the dean for students, and by the course and clerkship directors. They work closely to improve all aspects of each course or clerkship – from lecture content and delivery to course scheduling and sequencing, and patient mix. Changes in course content and sequencing are often prompted by student suggestions.
Ongoing feedback is provided by volunteer student representatives for each course who work with the faculty and administration to address issues while each course is in session. In addition, elected student representatives from each class actively participate in the Curriculum Committee, which is responsible for the comprehensive review of all courses and clerkships.
Students also evaluate new educational initiatives and provide feedback on the overall curriculum at key intervals throughout their education and training. Students are often invited to join focus groups or working groups that are charged to address curriculum-specific issues.
Teaching faculty are active participants in the systematic approach to curriculum review. Faculty receive ongoing course feedback through student representatives, evaluation summary reports, and peer feedback through the comprehensive review process conducted by the Curriculum Committee.
Course and clerkship directors review and revise evaluation instruments annually to ensure that the instruments adequately assess the overall quality and effectiveness of the course or clerkship, particularly specific changes or initiatives that were introduced during the academic year.
The Curriculum Committee is responsible for the comprehensive review of the overall curriculum, evaluating all preclinical courses and required clerkships in-depth on a three-year cycle. These reviews are part of the Curriculum Committee’s monthly agenda and enable continuous improvement at several levels: for individual courses and clerkships, for blocks of courses, for vertical themes, and for the overall curriculum. As part of the comprehensive review, a Curriculum Committee faculty member conducts an in-depth analysis of a course or clerkship using criteria that focus on areas such as course objectives, key concepts, content integration, relevance to the overall curriculum, teaching methods, and faculty development needs.
This multi-level, systematic approach to curricular content review with a continuous feedback loop assures that the TUSM curriculum is of the highest quality, clinically relevant, and innovative.
Office of Educational Affairs
The OEA provides data-centered support aimed at guiding TUSM’s decision-making, strategic planning, accreditation, assessment, and course-level data management activities. Course evaluations and related activities are essential for the school’s growth. As we move forward we are exploring designing a peer review of teaching and educational contributions in addition to student feedback. The OEA will facilitate a feedback loop in which student, faculty, and the Curriculum Committee’s responses to assessment and evaluation efforts are incorporated and integrated into regular, strategic planning and curriculum improvement activities.
Our best-practices-based approach is founded on a cadre of contemporary education, medical, and evaluation research that emphasizes the importance of reflective practice and evaluation in teaching, learning, cognitive, and professional development processes. As we look forward to collaborating on a regular basis we want to hear from you so that we can continually improve our programs. For more information, please call 617-636-6934.