The Curriculum Mapping Tool has been created to make accessible all the intended learning outcomes (ILOs) for the Manchester MBChB programme. It is intended as a resource for our students, teachers, programme administrators, curriculum designers and regulators: in short, all who have an interest in our programme. We expect that each group of users will use the map in a different way. We also expect that different students will use the map differently.
How should you use the ILOs?
For students, we expect that you may use this regularly to see how the outcomes for your current learning are described. It is important to note, for PBL cases in particular, that the ILOs are no substitute for the learning agenda that you generate within your group discussion. Your learning agendas should always be phrased as questions - for example "How?" or "Why?" and will encourage you to understand phenomena and apply knowledge in a particular context. Intended learning outcomes are a way to describe what you are expected to achieve in a more general way and are written to show that they can be tested in an examination. They are often written: "to demonstrate understanding of..."
Why are some outcomes here and not others?
The term intended learning outcome or objective, often shortened to ILO can cause some confusion. Why are some ILO’s included in the curriculum mapping tool and others not?
It is largely the higher level outcomes which are represented in the curriculum mapping tool i.e. those at phase, year or module level. An exception to this is the outcomes linked with each PBL case which are given particular prominence in the curriculum mapping tool as Manchester Medical School has an integrated enquiry based spiral curriculum.
Individual sessions such as anatomy teaching, individual lectures and individual consultation skills learning centre sessions will each have learning objectives or outcomes associated with them but these ‘sessional objectives’ are not shown within the curriculum mapping tool. To do so would not only create a cumbersome and bulky map, but also seriously limit flexibility for tutors to develop and change learning outcomes required as a result of continual improvement and evaluation of these sessions.
Links between ILOs
The map contains over 2000 ILOs from all components of the programme. Importantly, it shows the relationship between "higher level" outcomes associated with each phase or component (e.g. a module) and "lower level" outcomes associated with each particular activity (e.g. a PBL case). The map also shows the relationships of the ILOs to the GMC outcomes defined in Tomorrow"s Doctors 2009.
The links of an individual ILO to the TD2009 outcomes also allows the tool to illustrate the relationship of one ILO to another, across the programme. As well as these, the outcomes have been categorized using subject-based descriptors taken from the Tuning project which defined Europe-wide learning outcomes for undergraduate medical curricula.
Current status of the map
The curriculum map is a work in progress. The initial release contains the ILOs for all the individual components of Phases 1 & 2. The ILOs for Phase 3 are, in effect, the culmination of all these earlier outcomes and reflect the outcomes of the programme as a whole. The outcomes for the programme are presently being revised and will be included within the map in due course. This is not to suggest that the outcomes themselves will substantially change, but the review will ensure that they are worded to best describe the current programme and to demonstrate their alignment with the outcomes of the GMC and the University of Manchester.