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Social and Behavioural Sciences in Medical Education This SIG is for anyone interested in Behavioural and Social Science teaching in medicine.
SIGs > Social and Behavioural Sciences in Medical Education > Help needed: Should integrated med schools include discipline specific areas on their DLE's? View modes: 
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Tracey Collett - 07/12/2016 13:57:57
Help needed: Should integrated med schools include discipline specific areas on their DLE's?
Hi all

I am in a bit of a quandary and wondered if anyone could help. Our medical curriculum is integrated and has problem based learning (PBL) at its focus. Core staff such as myself (a sociologist) seek to weave our disciplines through the curriculum and we also undertake many teaching activities not related to our disciplines such as facilitating PBL. Historically, discipline specific resources have been made available to students on the digital learning environment only via the PBL area (although students are made aware of key discipline specific books and also that the discipline leads have a reading list). Recently it is being suggested that discipline specific resource areas should be made visible on the learning environment (i.e. one for immunology, one for biochemistry etc etc). These areas would be hosted by discipline specific leads who would be able to create or signpost resources; answer questions about their subjects via say a wiki and keep students updated about trending topics via say a blog). It is argued that such areas will augment students' self directed learning and help them learn in more depth. The counter argument to date is that 'if discipline specific areas are allowed they will effectively 'disintegrate the curriculum' as students who wish to take a more modular approach will be able to do so by simply learning the content in each area.
I am currently on the fence (not enough evidence either way). I do wonder if they are set up well, whether these areas could indeed assist students as they make sense of the topics that arise within the integrated curriculum, on the other hand they could undo a lot of work that has been put into integrating! I wonder if anyone has any experience, advice, opinions on this matter (I am also searching the literature). Many thanks, Tracey