Skip to main content


Table 3 Strengths and Weaknesses of the MSK Curriculum

From: Musculoskeletal education: a curriculum evaluation at one university

Was MSK course structured according to the standard principles for curriculum design?
Kern Step Data sources Strengths Weaknesses Exemplar Quotes
Problem identification and general needs assessment conducted Data identified in Table 1 Course evaluation feedback from students and faculty used to revise curriculum. No evidence that demographic, patient, hospitalization or other data used to guide content.  
Needs assessments with targeted learners Data identified in Table 1   No evidence that a targeted needs assessment conducted.  
Goals and objectives Course documents   Course goals not explicitly stated.
Course objectives are not specific or measurable. Core syllabus inconsistent in formatting and presentation.
"Get defined objectives, we have...those for teaching and we have to use those for the evaluation."
Educational Strategies Course documents, evaluation forms, interview data. Complex and creative curriculum. Curriculum uses diverse educational strategies to deliver content maximizing opportunities for appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes to be developed. Clinical presentations not well developed. "I had no idea that the course was organized into 25 presentations until this moment."
Implementation Data identified in Table 1 Many people committed to delivering curriculum.
Facilities can support the delivery of the curriculum.
Many teaching strategies were used formally and informally to optimize learning.
Administrative support was essential.
Small group learning sessions larger (n = 18) than would be optimal for small group learning.
Active learning not optimized.
Perception that course was disorganized.
Time constraints (insufficient number of hours) prevented course from being delivered in an optimal way.
An inability to provide consistent guidance and direction to the many teachers caused unnecessary duplication on content and an inconsistent understanding of the course's objectives and approach to teaching using a clinical presentation format.
"Too much information for the length of the course. Six weeks or six and a half weeks is not long enough."
Evaluation Student examination data from MSK and courses preceding and following MSK.
Evaluation forms from students and faculty.
Interviews with key informants.
Examination delivered to students provides evidence that it was reliable. Student and faculty evaluation feedback data provides evidence that it is reliable.
Data from the student and faculty feedback evaluation provided useful information to guide future revisions to curriculum.
Course evaluations were reviewed and acted upon to call for a wider review and guide improvement.
Blueprint, objectives and student examination are not aligned.
Lack of feedback to faculty about their performance as teachers.
"My ability to MEMORIZE was tested, not my ability to solve problems."
"Would be great to get some feedback on the sessions that I taught."
"Need to have lecturers submit 1 or 2 questions directly from each of their presentations for use as MCQs to improve question bank."
Integration of curricular components Core documents.
Interviews with key informants.
  Poor alignment of objectives with content presented and with student examination. "...Cover in lectures and in core document what will be tested on the exam."