Milles L, Hitzblech T, Drees S, Wurl W, Arends P, Peters H.
Introduction: Beyond participation in evaluation of teaching, there is sparse research available on more active roles of medical students in curriculum development. We report on a model of student engagement where medical students function as module co-directors, and how this is experienced by faculty and student module directors.
Methods: Student engage in co-development of their curriculum with a high level of autonomy in organizing their activities. We conducted a mixed-methods, convergent design study based on surveys with faculty and student module co-directors and a student co-director focus group. Quantitative data were analyzed descriptively. Qualitative analysis was performed inductively.
Results: Quantitatively, the majority of both faculty and student module directors report that the curriculum benefits from the students' work (95 and 94%). Both groups see each other as equal partners (80 and 87%). Qualitatively, this is related to students' competencies such as "bringing in broad and unique knowledge of the curriculum", "giving the students' perspective a voice," and "contributing ideas for improvement". Key strategies and challenges of the student co-module directors are illuminated.
Conclusions: Student module co-directors represent a well-accepted practice model for curriculum development. This report may stimulate other faculties to engage their students more actively in medical education.