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Core Case Design and Development

The core case is one of the linchpins of the UICOM curriculum in Phase 1. Each week in Block courses, core case sessions highlight the foundational medical science knowledge required for clinical decision-making. Core cases are designed by clinical and basic medical science faculty around the principles of active learning: preparation and interactive, thoughtful group exploration with faculty facilitators. There are some relevant forms here that can provide designers and deliverers of curricular content with some context into some evidence-based best practices.For core cases, the key word here is ‘case.’ This teaching methodology uses clinical cases along with basic scientific information to form a well-rounded discussion. This type of delivery has strong roots in case-based learning.

Collaborative Design for Core Cases: Seven Steps

Step 1: Block teams identify major basic science discipline(s) and clinical expertise needed to develop the core case(s) for each week of a block.

Content experts (basic sciences and clinical) are identified by the block team to develop the core case(s) for each week of their block. Content experts can include faculty from any of the campus-specific delivery teams. It is recommended that the number of content experts in the team is limited to 3-4 individuals to retain efficiency in the process of developing the core case(s). This part is crucial to block preparation so meetings can be scheduled to move design/delivery forward.

Step 2: The block team in collaboration with content experts, choose TBL or core case format.

Is this case or series of cases more appropriate for a TBL? The block team determines which format is best for the content, a core case or a TBL. You can find more information on TBLs on this website.

Step 3: The design team, which consists of designated content experts and theme/subtheme leaders, update learning objectives (if needed) for the design of core case(s).

Content experts will review the block objectives previously assigned by the block team to the core case(s) as a foundation for design.

The design team will write the case(s) by:

  • modifying existing material or creating new content
  • reviewing foundational learning objectives relevant to the case
  • defining and developing any advance or preparatory assignments
  • writing assessment questions (i.e., practice question)

A facilitator guide should be developed. A guide helps all facilitators to stay on task during content delivery. There are multiple ways to create a facilitator guide. The easiest way it to include specific notes in PPTX slide notes area for facilitators to follow.

Step 4: Delivery faculty and block team review initial draft of the core case(s)

The draft of the case(s) is shared with other content expert faculty who are likely to be the facilitators/delivery faculty of the content at each campus. Delivery faculty should provide input and suggestions but should be aware that all final decisions surrounding alterations based on their input are made by the design team.

At this point, the draft is shared with the design team. The block team should review the draft and ensure that the core case(s) focus on existing learning objectives for the block.

Note: the next three steps are likely iterative.

Step 5: Design team makes revisions based on feedback.

Step 6: Block team reviews and approves the final case.

The block team reviews the final case to ensure adherence to learning objectives and balance between basic science, clinical science, and thematic materials.

Step 7: Program evaluation will be conducted routinely for all core cases delivered in the curriculum.

Following the delivery of the core case(s), program evaluation will be conducted by the College of Medicine’s Med Ed Data Group. This group works in conjunction with block leaders to review student feedback, levels of basic sciences / clinical content, integration of thematic material, student performance on assessments, faculty feedback, and evaluation of faculty performance to guide revisions for future iterations of the cases.