Redesigning UICOM Phase 2 Curriculum

notebook beside the iphone on table

The University of Illinois College of Medicine (UICOM) is currently underway in redesigning the curriculum from the ground up. Phase 2 of the curriculum at UICOM involves what is typically known as the 3rd year of medical school (M3) and required / optional clerkships to complete.

  • Responsibilities: Instructional Design, Educational Technology
  • Target Audience: Staff (and ultimate students)
  • Tools Used: LucidChart, Blackboard
  • Budget: N/A, internal project
  • Client: University of Illinois College of Medicine
  • Year: 2019-ongoing

The clerkships on each campus have typically run very independent of each other in many ways. For example, the Peoria campus clerkships had not previously used Blackboard, the learning management system (LMS) at UICOM, while the Chicago and Rockford campus clerkships use it. Another example, each clerkship on the Rockford and Chicago campuses used a separate Blackboard shell to house content. In keeping with the style and design of Phase 1 where all curricular content is housed within one Blackboard shell, there are three shells for Phase 2, one for each of the campuses, and all clerkships are housed within it. This is a departure from how it has been done in the past, and a presented some challenges to organize content.


Here are some examples of how I used a product called Lucidchart to diagram the existing curriculum layout in Blackboard for each clerkship, and how it might look in the new design.

Screenshot of LucidChart software
LucidChart for Ob/Gyn Clerkship in Chicago

The beige boxes represent the existing curriculum and specific items that are visible to students.

The coral colored boxes represent the existing curriculum and specific items that are not visible to students.

The blue boxes represent the proposed curriculum layout.

Chicago Campus
Here are some of the mockups used in redesigning the Chicago campus clerkships.

Results and Takeaways

The final product was put into production. This project is an example of systematic instructional design. I used the systematic action mapping approach with a focus on the actions that staff need to perform to create content for clerkship students. By using a systematic instructional design, I helped to promote better decision making for our staff and ease of use for students.