Competence-oriented mapping of the curriculum within the MERLIN-project: an online database used as a tool aiming for curricular achievements and developments

The competence orientation gains in importance in medical education and training. The German National Competence-Based Learning Objectives for Undergraduate Medical Education (NKLM) is considered as a framework for future medical education.

Current curricula are analyzed to identify existing and missing competences. Due to its complexity and the immensity of data a tool was needed that enabled a simple data analysis and visualization regarding different research questions.

An online database was developed in the course of the MERLIN project which is strongly oriented toward the NKLM. It enables to measure competence-based teaching within an entire curriculum of a faculty (mapping). Users of this database are enabled to analyze and visualize the curricular data according to different research questions:

  1. Quick diagnostics – How intensive and transparent are professional roles communicated in the faculty or in different disciplines? Where is the focus, where is further potential?

  2. How often and how intensive are sub-competences taught in the overall curriculum?

  3. How intensive and on which level of competence was a professional role conveyed throughout university (longitudinal string)?

  4. Which lectures conveyed a certain role throughout university?

  5. Are there any gaps and/or redundancies of competence-based teaching within the curriculum?

  6. Who is testing sub-competences of a professional role and what is the format of the exam?

  7. Online Catalogue of Learning Objectives – Which sub-competences are taught within a certain discipline?

  8. Search function – Which department is already teaching contents regarding certain diseases within their curriculum? (Keyword search)

The MERLIN-Database is a useful tool for the development of curricula:

  • Visualization of data and complex connection from various perspectives.
  • Faculty as well as students benefit from higher degrees of transparency.
  • Gaps and (undesired) redundancies are identified and can be visualized.
  • New content of teaching can be implemented accordingly.
  • A differentiated analysis of the curriculum as well as a continuous and precise curricular development are facilitated.

More information:
MERLIN - Medical Education Research - Lehrforschung im Netz BW