Coping with COVID-19: medical students as strong and responsible stewards of their education

Charles A. Keilin
Deena Khamees
Eve D. Losman
Jacquelyn B. Kercheval
Netana H. Markovitz
Soort article
Show and Tell
Adult learning theory,
Curriculum development,
Master Adaptive Learner framework,
Verscheen in

Background Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, clinical rotations at the University of Michigan Medical School (UMMS) were suspended on March 17, 2020, per the Association of American Medical Colleges’ recommendations. No alternative curriculum existed to fill the educational void for clinical students. The traditional approach to curriculum development was not feasible during the pandemic as faculty were redeployed to clinical care, and the immediate need for continued learning necessitated a new model.

Approach One student developed an outline for an online course on pandemics based on peer-to-peer conversations regarding learners’ interests and needs, and she proposed that students author the content given the immediate need for a curriculum. Fifteen student volunteers developed content to fill knowledge gaps, and expert faculty reviewers confirmed that the student authors had successfully curated a comprehensive curriculum.

Evaluation The crowdsourced student content coalesced into a 40-hour curriculum required for all 371 clinical-level students at UMMS. This student-driven effort took just 17 days from outline to implementation, and the final product is a full course comprising five modules, multiple choice questions, discussion boards, and assignments. Learners were surveyed to gauge success, and 93% rated this content as relevant to all medical students.

Reflection The successful implementation of this model for curriculum development, grounded in the Master Adaptive Learner framework, suggests that medical students can be entrusted as stewards of their own education. As we return to a post-pandemic “normal,” this approach could be applied to the maintenance and de novo development of future curricula.


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