Background: At VUmc School of Medical Sciences, major curricular reforms occurred in 2005 and 2015, related to the introduction of a Bachelor-Master structure, a new legislation from the Ministry of Education, the changing societal context, and taking note of students’ and teachers’ needs. Summary of work: Along with the introduction of the Bachelor-Master system, the period between 2005 and 2009 saw the movement from traditional lecture-based teaching to small group teaching in a competency-based curriculum, in which the students were responsible for their learning. Student engagement grew through students’ designing learning modules and conducting some of the teaching. In the Bachelor program, an elective “Minor”, was designed to broaden and deepen the knowledge of our students beyond the core learning outcomes, in a discipline of their choice. The examination board (EB), responsible for maintaining the quality of assessment, was split into the General EB, which handled overall strategy issues, and the Executive EB, which handled student requests and monitored the quality of assessments. Lessons learned: Students develop a sense of what education is about if they are provided opportunities in designing teaching and conducting it. A Minor elective in the medical study can provide the students with an opportunity to learn outside the medical field. Collaborative working between different stakeholders in a medical school is crucial for safeguarding the quality of assessments. Curricular reforms need time to be accepted and integrated into the culture of the medical school. The educational vision needs to be refreshed regularly in alignment with the changing societal context.
Kusurkar, R. A., Daelmans, H. E., Horrevoets, A., de Haan, M., van der Meijde, M., & Croiset, G. (2018). Reforms in VUmc School of Medical Sciences Amsterdam: Student engagement, a Minor elective semester and stakeholder collaboration in improving the quality of assessments. Medical Teacher, 40(5), 501-505. https://doi.org/10.1080/0142159X.2018.1445833