Course Director's Guide

Main Content

Course Establisment

  • The number of credit and contact hours allowed to each course and its place and the academic calendar are determined by the Curriculum Committee and administered by the Office of Medical Education. The information and the official academic calendar are published in the UMMC Bulletin. [insert link]
  • The schedules for day-to-day course activities in the M1 and M2 years are collectively developed by the course directors responsible for each year of training, facilitated by the Office of Medical Education.
  • Each course is assigned a certain number of contact hours that cannot be exceeded. The Curriculum Committee approved definition for contact hours includes activities assigned to be completed outside of scheduled class time, such as required pre-work for small groups or flipped classrooms, group projects, and meetings. Students cannot be required to be on campus while awaiting the setup of labs or examinations between the in-class and practice sessions without that period being included in the contact hours.
  • Contact hours do not include the time necessary to complete textbook readings before traditional didactic lectures, time spent studying for examinations, or attendance at optional review sessions before an examination.
  • The Curriculum Committee has specified that, in general, no more than six (6) clock hours of contact time for any student should be scheduled in one (1) day and no more than thirty (30) hours in a week.
    • Exceptions to this rule may be granted by the assistant dean for academic affairs or vice dean for medical education in exceptional circumstances, such as rescheduling lectures due to faculty illness or scheduling guest speakers with limited availability.
  • During the preclinical years, certain sessions may be designated as having mandatory attendance by the course director. Examples of sessions that are appropriate for this designation include sessions containing significant active learning components, guest presenters from outside the School of Medicine, or crucial information.
  • In the event of unforeseeable circumstances (e.g., faculty illness or inclement weather), the course director may revise the course schedule, provided the changes do not conflict with other courses, required student activities, or put an undue time burden on students.
  • Scheduling changes that occur within two (2) days prior to any test must be approved by the assistant dean for academic affairs or the vice dean of medical education.
  • Students must receive a minimum of 24 hours of notice for all additions to the schedule.
  • During the M3 and M4 years, the day-to-day schedule is the responsibility of the individual course directors if it complies with the campus academic calendar and student duty hour restrictions, which are the same as resident duty hours mandated by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
  • Course schedules must be made accessible through Canvas and should be provided only through the Canvas calendar and not through a file such as a word document or PDF because of the potential for confusion when the schedule changes.

Selection and Review of Faculty

The course director is the principal interface between departmental faculty and the School of Medicine Curriculum Committee. The course director has the responsibility to evaluate faculty in the course to ensure students are receiving high-quality educational experiences and that school and Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) guidelines are followed.

A course director is expected to provide guidance to teaching faculty in the course with respect to organization, a correlation between the rigor of instruction and the level of educational development of students, and appropriateness of examination material prepared by the faculty. The course director may be asked to provide a formal evaluation of the teaching activities of participating faculty to the SOM administration and departmental chairperson upon request.

The Curriculum Committee has designated the following requirements and forms be utilized when evaluating teaching faculty and residents within courses and clerkships in MedHub:

  • Student of Lecturer: Must be assigned for any faculty member or resident who gives three (3) or more presentations within a single course or clerkship. If more than three (3) presentations are given, should only be assigned one (1) time, following the final presentation.
  • Student of Lab Supervisor: Must be assigned for any faculty member or resident who supervises a specific student or cohort of students following the last laboratory session.
  • Student of Small Group Instructor: Must be assigned for any faculty member or resident who facilitates one (1) or more small group sessions. Should be assigned following each session or series of related sessions.
  • Student of Simulation Instructor: Must be assigned for any faculty member or resident who instructs a simulation session. Should be assigned at the end of each session or series of sessions.
  • Student of Clinical Supervisor: Must be assigned for any faculty member or resident who supervises a student for three (3) or more half-days, following the final half-day of supervision.

Anytime a faculty member or resident completes an evaluation of a student, the student should have the opportunity to complete a reciprocal evaluation.