gms | German Medical Science

17. Grazer Konferenz – Qualität der Lehre 2013: Teaching Medical Skills

4. - 6. April 2013, Wien, Österreich

Development of a catalogue of preclinical learning objctives and competency levels


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17. Grazer Konferenz – Qualität der Lehre 2013: Teaching medical skills. Wien, Österreich, 04.-06.04.2013. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2013. DocP12

doi: 10.3205/13grako26, urn:nbn:de:0183-13grako261

Veröffentlicht: 29. November 2013

© 2013 Oettl et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open Access-Artikel und steht unter den Creative Commons Lizenzbedingungen ( Er darf vervielfältigt, verbreitet und öffentlich zugänglich gemacht werden, vorausgesetzt dass Autor und Quelle genannt werden.



Central to the design of contents, the development of curricula, and the construction of examination questions, is the definition of learning objectives. In the case of clinical reasoning, there are several internationally recognized catalogues of learning objectives for undergraduate medical curricula. In contrast, examples for preclinical catalogues to date do not exist.

Along the course of an extensive revision of the medical curriculum the need for a homogenously structured and interdepartmental integrated catalogue of learning objectives became increasingly apparent.

The clinical departments started with the development of learning objectives based on the structure and items of the Swiss Catalogue of Learning Objectives (SCLO) [1] adapting it according to the needs of the Medical University of Graz (MUG). The structure of the SCLO is based on a subject-oriented list as well as a symptomoriented list of learning objectives. While subject orientation is fully applicable for preclinical objectives the orientation on symptoms and classification according to diagnosis, therapy, emergency, preventive measures and general practice clearly is not applicable to preclinical needs. We tried to find a structure for the preclinical part suitable to preclinical needs and in parallel related to the structure of the clinical part. Searching for such a continuous structure, we decided to create in addition to the subject-oriented list of preclinical learning objectives - and in analogy to the symptoms-based items of the clinical catalogue - a preclinical ‘system-oriented’ list of objectives. Such ‘systems’ being for example: metabolism, reproduction, respiration, scientific methods, etc.

For the classification of profundity of competence we used the taxonomy of Bloom [2], [3] to distinguish between following criteria:

Level Classification
1 Basic knowledge
2 Further knowledge and skills
2 V Comprehension
2 U Application
2 A Analysis

Thus, the MUG catalogue will consist of a continuous subject based list throughout the preclinical and clinical items. A definition of competence will be possible throughout the catalogue and will change from the preclinical one based on Bloom’s taxonomy to the item definitions of the SCLO. In the preclinical catalogue crosslinks will be achieved by the parallel construction of the system-based list with the intention to assist the adjustment of contents of the different subjects.

In addition to the development of learning objectives described by these categories, a catalogue of practical skills which have to be achieved by successfully passing the preclinical education will be created.

Ten preclinical departments are included in the current development, eight of which thus far have returned anywhere between 28 and 160 learning objectives.

At this time an editorial committee is revising the objectives concerning wording, number, clustering, overlaps between departments, possible desired redundancies with different levels of competence etc. Next steps will be to find a practicable number of learning objectives for each subject, create the system-based list with all the necessary cross-links, as well as the integration of feedback from MUG clinicians.


Bürgi H, Rindlisbacher B, Bader C, Bloch R, Bosman F, Gasser C, Gerke W, Humair JP, Im Hof V, Kaiser H, Lefebvre D, Schläppi P, Sottas B, Spinas GA, Stuck AE. Swiss Catalogue of Learning Objectives for Undergraduate Medical Training. Bern: Universität Bern; 2008. Zugänglich unter/available from: Externer Link
Bloom BS, Engelhart MD, Furst EJ, Hill WH, Krathwohl DR. Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. The Classification of Educational Goals. Handbook I: Cognitive Domain. New York: David Mc Kay; 1971.
Anderson LW, Krathwohl DR, Airasian,PW. A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom's Taxanomy of Educational Objectives, Abridged Version. Boston: Allyn and Bacon; 2000.