• Engagement and Higher Order Skill Proficiency of First and Second Year Medical Students A Comparison Between IUSMs Legacy and Reformed Curricula

      Francis, Brandon; Hopper, Mari K.
      In order to better prepare students for clinical practice in today’s environment, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), American Medical Association (AMA), and Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium (Cooke, 2010) have all called for reform in medical education. In response to these calls, the Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) transitioned from its legacy curriculum (LC) to a newly reformed curriculum (RC) in the 2016-2017 academic year. The LC focused primarily on didactic methods to deliver necessary material, while RC incorporated active learning into at least 50% of student contact hours. This study set-out to determine if students enrolled in Indiana University’s RC demonstrated higher levels of engagement and proficiency in use of Bloom’s higher order skills (HOS) than students in LC; furthermore, the authors conducted analysis of student development in engagement and HOS from first year (MS1) to second year (MS2), focusing on MS1 students initially in the lowest HOS quartile. Following IRB approval, study participants’ engagement and HOS were annually assessed during MS1 and MS2 for the Class of 2019 (LC) and the Class of 2020 (RC). Engagement was determined using a validated Survey of Student Engagement (SSE) (Ahlfeldt, 2005). HOS proficiency was assessed using the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA+), professionally developed and validated by the Council for Aid to Education (https://cae.org/flagship-assessments-cla-cwra/cla/). Preliminary statistical analysis indicated that RC students increased engagement significantly from MS1 (39.0±7.0) to MS2 (40.8±5.3) and demonstrated significantly higher engagement than LC MS2 students (36.3±5.3); however, there were no differences in HOS proficiency when comparing RC to LC, or MS1 to MS2. Additionally, RC MS1 students in the lowest HOS quartile (1688.8±53.1) demonstrated significantly increased HOS when re-tested during MS2 (1809.5±86.8). This phenomenon was not seen in LC students. Implementation of RC resulted in higher levels of student engagement than LC and, despite literature suggesting that more engaged learners will become more proficient in HOS (Bonwell & Eison, 1991), there were no differences in HOS group means between RC and LC.