In This Issue
Director's Message
Director photo


A new resource available from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) is the Curriculum Inventory and Reports (CIR) website. This site provides access to aggregate data from all U.S. medical schools. There are over 60 reports; they are organized into five thematic groupings: Course Content and Competencies, Instruction and Assessment, Curriculum Design and Policies, Program and Institutional Characteristics, and Resources and Technology. ( )

As an example, there are 20 reports under the Content and Competencies section related to subject areas, topics, disciplines, specialties, and competencies describing the pre-clinical and clinical learning experiences across medical schools. These report titles illustrate some of the breadth of the topics included in this section: basic science instructional hours and instructional methods, basic science courses taught as part of integrated courses, required clerkships by disciple at US medical schools, longitudinal clerkships by discipline, hospital night call requirements, professional behaviors considered in grading, students' evaluation of faculty/supervisor professionalism, interprofessional education general goals and types of settings, etc.


Click here to enlarge 

Each report is presented in a graphical format.The sample on the right shows the frequency of various methods used for the assessment of professional behavior across U.S. medical schools. Observations by residents used by all schools while comments from other health professionals are used by less than half of all schools.  


The data available at this site provides a quick overview of current practices in medical education and can be used for benchmarking as well as promoting curricular innovation.


An eventual goal is to have medical schools upload their curricular information directly to the curriculum inventory system, expanding the content and reporting capabilities of this resource.   


Brian Mavis, PhD
Associate Professor and Director
Office of Medical Education Research and Development
College of Human Medicine



-The NBME recently announced the creation of a complimentary online item-writing tutorial: Writing Multiple Choice Questions: An Introductory Tutorial. This self-paced, interactive tutorial provides a foundation for writing quality multiple-choice questions. The tutorial introduces some of the main principles of item writing to individuals who write questions for examinations in the field of medicine or across the health professions.  


Featured topics include:

  • the anatomy of an item
  • basic rules for writing good stems and options
  • characteristics of a quality "best-answer" item
  • writing items to assess clinical reasoning
  • common item flaws
  • strategies for evaluating test items

The tutorial is organized into sections so that you can complete only a portion of it and easily return later; the entire tutorial takes about 45 minutes to complete.  You can access the tutorial on the NBME website at: 



New Curriculum Website

A new website has been developed as a resource for the CHM community as part of the on-going process of developing a new medical school curriculum. The website will be updated regularly to include committees formed to work on various aspects of the curriculum as well as summary documents outlining features of the new curriculum. The Documents tab includes the guiding principles developed by the CHM Curriculum Committee. There is also a link to the Medical Council of Canada's document, "Objectives for the Qualifying Examination." This document is organized into groups and covers 221 presenting problems or issues from a patient's perspective.  This publication is included in the website because it was one of the key documents to shape the thinking of the design group in their effort to develop a more patient-centered curriculum.


There are other features included in the website. The home page displays a calendar of upcoming town hall meetings; the calendar also includes links to Mediasite recordings of some of the past town hall meetings. The Resources tab provides access to papers and publications supporting the development of the new curriculum. This includes a variety of consensus conference reports as well as peer-reviewed papers discussing portfolios, simulation-based education, learning societies, personal learning plans, team-based learning, etc. There are also some curricular models and educational competencies from the 16 newest medical schools. The Posters tab links to each of the posters that was presented at the CHM Curriculum Poster Reception held in January of this year. There are plans to add a Blog tab, where Dr. Sousa and Dr Gold will provide some on-going commentary about this development process as it unfolds.


The new curriculum design website can be found at:  

New resources and features will be added to the web page as work continues to develop a new curriculum for more flexibility, better content integration and with earlier meaningful clinical experience.


New Media Horizon Report 2013: Higher Education Edition


Recently, the New Media Consortium (NMC) released their Horizon Project Short List Higher Education Edition 2013. The tenth edition of the report describes the findings of emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching and research in higher education. The current interim 2013 short list report contains the top 12 emerging technologies categorized under three different time-to-adoption horizons over the next one to five years.


The NMC is an international community of experts in educational technology ranging from practitioners who work with new technologies on campuses every day; to the visionaries who are shaping the future of learning at think tanks, labs, and research centers. The 2013 Horizon Report is a collaborative effort between the NMC and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), an EDUCAUSE Program. The current short list will serve as a tool to help the NMC advisory board narrow down the 12 technologies to six for the full publication which is slated to be released in February 2013.


The graphic below shows 12 emerging technologies identified in the short list with their respective time-to-adoption horizons.


The report also contains a discussion about key trends and significant challenges educators face as educational paradigms are shifting and digital media literacy continues to rise in its importance as a key skill to have in every discipline.


Download the 2013 Short List Higher Education Report (PDF)


For more information about NMC or to sign up for the monthly e-mail newsletter, go to  


Geraud Plantegenest

B-CLR Manager

517-353-2037 ext. 237

[email protected] 


programeval CHM Program Evaluation

Getting Your Educational Innovations Published


Medical educators often fail to disseminate what they have learned from developing innovative educational programs and have difficulty publishing manuscripts describing their innovations in peer-reviewed journals. Navigating the publication process is challenging and publishing educational innovations is somewhat different from publishing clinical or basic science research. A recently published article in Academic Internal Medicine Insight presents some strategies that can help in getting descriptions of educational innovations published. The full article is freely available at:  


In summary:


Work in a Collaborative Team: Forming a collaborative team of colleagues committed to improving a clerkship, residency, or other educational program is one of the most important things you can do, not only to improve the learner educational experience but also to turn what is learned into scholarship.


Follow the Principles of Good Science: To get a description of an educational innovation published you will have to approach it as a scholarly project and use the principles of good science. Be sure to:

  • Start by reading the existing literature and seeing what others have tried and how it has worked.
  • Try to use as rigorous a research design as possible as well as good outcome measures.
  • Treat your educational development effort as a scholarly project from the beginning. It is much easier to build-in rigorous designs and good outcome measures as you are implementing your educational innovation rather than adding them after the fact.

What to Include in a Description: Your audience will be people like yourself-medical educators struggling with constraints of limited resources, accreditation requirements, and competing clinical demands. Beyond whether the innovation worked, they will want to know the details of your implementation process and what difficulties you encountered. A table in the article referenced above provides some suggestions on what to include.


The Submission, Review, and Publication Process: Before submitting your manuscript, check it carefully. Follow the journal's submission instructions. First impressions count! Put some thought into choosing the journal to which you submit your manuscript. Make sure the journal is a good fit for the manuscript you are submitting and consider how it might advance your career. If you do not get accepted the first try, do not give up, it make take several tries. Use the feedback you get and resubmit to another journal as soon as possible.


There is nothing magical about getting educational innovations published. It takes hard work, teamwork, a scholarly approach, and above all else, persistence!


The faculty and staff in OMERAD are experienced in implementing educational innovations and getting descriptions of these innovations published. They are available to assist your efforts in getting your innovations published.


facultydevFaculty Development

Redesigning Faculty Development for CHM


The Office of Medical Education Research and Development (OMERAD) has launched an initiative aimed at redesigning faculty development programs in CHM to facilitate instruction on campus and in the communities.


To this end, OMERAD has put together an Advisory Board, comprising faculty from East Lansing, Flint, Grand Rapids, Midland and Traverse City.  


The Board has met twice since October, and at the last meeting formed three working groups:

  • Small Groups
  • Large Lectures
  • Clinical Settings

The goal of each group is to identify the types of faculty roles in these instructional settings, the knowledge and skills that each role requires, and how those knowledge and skills could best be delivered. Members of each working group are collaborating online to create a logic model. If you are interested in helping, please contact Debby Sleight, PhD, at [email protected].


In addition to the Advisory Board, OMERAD has formed a task force on faculty development, to identify components that would be required to earn a certificate in medical education. These components may include self-paced online courses, a blend of online and face-to-face instruction, videoconferences, and live workshops. We are looking at other certificate programs and faculty development websites at other medical schools to see what they offer. If you have a suggestion for instruction you would like OMERAD to provide, again, please contact Debby Sleight.


hotpressHot Off the Press

- Mavis, B., Sousa, A., Osuch, J., Arvidson, C., Lipscomb, W., Brady, J. & Green, W.  The College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University: Expansion and Reinvention. Academic Medicine. 2012; 87(12): 1705-1709.


- Mavis, B., Wagner, D., Sousa, S. & Polizzi, K.  Really Good Stuff: Problem-Based Learning Case to Facilitate Curriculum Redesign.  Medical Education.  2012; 46: 1108-1109.



resourcesOMERAD Resources

B-CLR Showcase 

An interactive gallery featuring examples of CHM blended and online learning projects by B-CLR.



A medical education listserv maintained by OMERAD.


Medical Education Online (MEO)  

Peer-reviewed international open access journal for disseminating information on the education and training of physicians and other health care professionals.


Vital Signs Newsletter Archive

Click on the link to view past issues of our newsletter.


Medical Education Scholarship Group

Meets first Wednesday of each month in room A116 East Fee Hall from 1:30 pm-3:00 pm.For questions about this group contact Dr. Brian Mavis:[email protected]


OMERAD Technology Center (OTC)  

Units within the College of Human Medicine interested in sponsoring faculty and/or staff development programs in support of education and scholarship may request use of the room.


The OTC is located in A211 East Fee Hall. For questions about the OTC contact:

John Williamson ([email protected]


The Office of Medical Education Research and Development is a unit within the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University. Its mission is to improve medical education and related service programs through evaluation and research consultation, relevant instruction, and programs of faculty development.


Established in 1966, OMERAD is the oldest continuously operating office of medical education in the United States.


A-202 East Fee Hall

965 Fee Road 

East Lansing, Michigan 48824


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