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      Creating a “Quarantine Curriculum” to Enhance Teaching and Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic

      , MD, PhD , 1

      Academic Medicine

      Published for the Association of American Medical Colleges by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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          Abstract

          To the Editor: The COVID-19 pandemic is posing countless challenges to our health care system—to say nothing of our society as a whole. For medical educators, one emerging difficulty is how to ensure optimal learning for students when conventional approaches are constrained due to: (1) suspended or disrupted clinical services (thereby limiting students’ and faculty members’ ability to participate on a fixed schedule), (2) cancelled in-person activities (e.g., due to social distancing policies), or (3) inability for individuals to leave their homes (e.g., due to quarantine or childcare responsibilities). Fortunately, modern approaches to teaching and learning offer a range of ready responses, including leveraging preexisting self-study and model curriculum resources 1 and using technology to create e-learning experiences. 2 Now more than ever, we should embrace the idea that education is not a zero-sum game: The current crisis is an opportunity for educators to work together to create shared learning opportunities that can benefit everyone. As one example, the National Neuroscience Curriculum Initiative has convened a broad team to create a 14-day “Quarantine Curriculum.” 3 The curriculum is designed to capture foundational concepts in modern psychiatric neuroscience and bring them to life through a series of self-study resources and online, interactive experiences. The curriculum is being run in real time, with each day focusing on a specific theme. All materials, including recordings of the live class sessions, are then freely available online. Though the intended audience is psychiatry residents and fellows, we anticipate that these materials could be useful for medical students or even for those in continuing medical education. Of note, each day’s materials include assessment questions that allow for formative feedback. The creation of a discrete, online curriculum offers several key strengths. It empowers learners to participate in accordance with their own time and ability. It creates virtual communities of learners (a crucial antidote to the forced social isolation). It leverages a collaborative approach in which a broad coalition of educators can each contribute a small amount to a larger product. By incorporating assessment metrics, we also hope that an online curriculum may create an enduring resource that will have value beyond the current crisis. Others are working to compile extant resources (e.g., through Twitter). 4 Professional listservs and social media are key tools for dissemination. We also hope that our journals and professional organizations can play a leading role in compiling and disseminating resources. David A. Ross, MD, PhDfor the National Neuroscience Curriculum Initiative “Quarantine Curriculum” CommitteeAssociate professor, Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut; david.a.ross@yale.edu;ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7426-9561.

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          Most cited references 1

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          The Use of a Small Private Online Course to Allow Educators to Share Teaching Resources Across Diverse Sites: The Future of Psychiatric Case Conferences?

          The authors sought to demonstrate the feasibility of integrating small private online course (SPOC) technology with flipped classroom techniques in order to improve neuroscience education across diverse training sites.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            Acad Med
            Acad Med
            ACM
            Academic Medicine
            Published for the Association of American Medical Colleges by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
            1040-2446
            1938-808X
            22 April 2020
            15 April 2020
            Affiliations
            Associate professor, Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut; david.a.ross@ 123456yale.edu ; ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7426-9561.
            Article
            00001
            10.1097/ACM.0000000000003424
            7179056
            Copyright © 2020 by the Association of American Medical Colleges

            This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic or until permissions are revoked in writing. Upon expiration of these permissions, PMC is granted a perpetual license to make this article available via PMC and Europe PMC, consistent with existing copyright protections.

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