The act of ÒSocial distancingÓ poses challenges for educators to find new strategies to communicate with each other through virtual environments. As many programs rapidly pivoted from face-to-face (F2F) instruction to emergency remote instruction during the spring of 2020, video conferencing was the new normal. Curriculum mapping is a collaborative process that historically occurred in a F2F environment. Program improvement processes include a visual illustration of the curriculum to help show connections between courses, the scaffolding of course content, and to foster communication among faculty. With social distancing provisions in place throughout the world, there is a gap in the literature that shows an innovative approach to map a curriculum in a virtual environment. The purpose of this research is to describe processes the researchers employed while planning a curriculum in preparation for an accreditation visit. The curricular mapping was successfully accomplished during social distancing while communicating, collaborating, and working in a virtual environment.
The researchers met as a group in four to five-hour block sessions over a period of four weeks using video conferencing technology. Screen sharing capabilities enabled the communication of information and real-time modification of course objectives and documents during scheduled meetings. Each objective underwent a review of grammar, content, and verb usage. In alignment with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy EducationÕs (CAPTE) standards and required elements, the researchers assigned each course objective the appropriate BloomÕs domain, level of skill performance, and 7D standard. Peer reviews of the researchersÕ objectives occurred through virtual meetings to yield the final curricular map. The collaborative virtual process helped assign skill levels and the appropriate BloomÕs taxonomy efficiently. Microsoft Excel was utilized to categorize the curricular course objectives using the COUNTIF function. The categorized frequency data was then converted into PivotTables and PivotCharts to provide a visual representation for interpretation.
The researchers identified gaps, overlaps, and trends in the curriculum. Furthermore, course objectives, subsequently provided an effective method to visualize trends on the radar plot. Area, bar, and histogram graphs demonstrated a linear progression of BloomÕs taxonomy and advancement in the students' skill level from introductory, to intermediate, to mastery/competency. The repetition, frequency and the use of video conferencing during the peer review process helped strengthen the researchersÕ communication in pairs and as a large group.
Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme:
The use of video conferencing can be an efficient and collaborative strategy to map a curriculum. Frequent F2F virtual meetings helped establish a sense of community among the researchers while keeping social distancing parameters. The researchers worked from home, but still had socialization and camaraderie, which is essential in physical therapy (PT) education. Future investigation in this evolving topic would help the PT profession.