Design of a problem-based curriculum: a general approach and a case study in the domain of public health
Medical Teacher , Volume 24 - Issue 1 p. 45- 51
A general approach to curriculum design in the context of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is outlined. Ten general 'steps' for problem-based curriculum development are proposed, using the case study methodology to describe the underlying iterative process. Examples are given from the case of the development of a public health professions education curriculum. The process starts with defining the purpose of the curriculum. General objectives are generated in a top-down fashion. The prior knowledge, skills and misconceptions of future students are considered. A preliminary schedule of the curriculum is developed, including sketches of unit blueprints. These are further elaborated. Unit subgoals are related to planned educational activities. Only then, are the learning materials created, with problem writing as the most important aspect. In developing a problem-based curriculum, assessment deserves special attention, because of its influence on the learning process. Finally, educational organization, curriculum management and evaluation procedures are considered.