Curricular Experiment in Clinical Oncology Nano Course Development and Assessment

Jan Blancato (Oncology/School of Medicine) · Round 4

In this ITEL curricular experimentation project, a team comprised of oncology faculty, patient advocates, and graduate students are collaborating to develop curricula for six flexible teaching modules for TBIO 511, Clinical and Translational Oncology.

Faculty recently identified a gap in graduate students' access to clinical learning that unless addressed potentially limits their thinking about cancer biology research. The curricula is being organized by tumor type and includes breast, prostate, lung, melanoma, liver, as well as a unit on health disparities in cancer. Because each of these tumors has its own driver gene mutations, screening strategy, biomarkers, gross and molecular pathology, therapeutic approaches, health disparity issues, and specific sociocultural concerns, they require their own area of expertise and research.

Led by Principal Investigator Jan Blancato, this ITEL team is creating videos of interviews with patient advocates and cancer survivors as part of the curriculum building process. An informed interview or conversation between the student and a clinical oncologist will be the culminating learning tool for each disease group. This project seeks to enhance the oncology curriculum by affording students meaningful interactions with Georgetown's clinical faculty and developing those relationships. First, the team is designing, developing, and piloting the breast cancer module. Once completed, the ITEL project team will disseminate the nanocourse. The project team intends to build and evaluate curricula for Breast, Lung, Prostate, and Liver Cancer modular courses over the 2015 calendar year.