Phase I of the project began in February of 2002 and concluded in March 2003 with the publication of the Phase 1 Final Report.
During Phase I, (2002-2003) a multi-faceted needs assessment was undertaken, which included:
reviews of the medical and medical education literature;
interviews with students, medical, educational and gender experts;
curriculum database search;
a consultation meeting with students, representatives from all six schools, UE-COFM and GIC-COFM.
At the conclusion of Phase I we found that a gender and health curriculum did not currently exist in any of the six Ontario medical schools. However, there was interest and support from faculty and students. We came across a significant amount of student initiated activity in the area of gender and equity. It was also clear that electronic resources were being used in a variety of ways and we found widespread interest in coordinated web-enabled educational materials.
Through our discussions, a number of important issues emerged:
faculty development would be essential;
web materials need to be ‘value added’ robust and adaptable;
a web resource cannot stand alone;
the need to support the work of each school, students and faculty; not to create a prescriptive educational programme but to raise awareness and provide the resources and support for change to occur in a local context.
Phase II began in February 2003 and concluded in the summer of 2006. It’s focus has been the development and implementation of gender and health curriculum. During this time we worked to establish key faculty at each school - to act as both bridge and catalyst. Increased funding allowed us to expanded our summer “studentships” to all six schools. Literature review and research of content occurred in the summer with the work of the faculty site coordinators and summer students. Our technical structure was created for us by an outside company, Tetraplex. We fine tuned our approach in an iterative fashion. Our emergent methodology can possibly be seen as a form of action research.
The work of phase II can be divided into three areas:
Community - the creation and facilitation of ’communities of practice’ that include faculty and students at all six schools that function locally and provincially
Content - the selection of specific areas for curriculum development, literature review, instructional design and content creation
Technology - the development of the technical aspects of the project
Phase III began in March 2005 and is focused on evaluation:
The implementation evaluation has been undertaken by Dr. Gordon Josephson of Ottawa.
The evaluation of the curriculum as an educational intervention is beginning with an outcome evaluation plan.