Crowdsourced Curriculum Development for Online Medical Education
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In recent years online educational content, efforts at quality appraisal, and integration of online material into institutional teaching initiatives have increased. However, medical education has yet to develop large-scale online learning centers. Crowd-sourced curriculum development may expedite the realization of this potential while providing opportunities for innovation and scholarship. This article describes the current landscape, best practices, and future directions for crowdsourced curriculum development using Kern's framework for curriculum development and the example topic of core content in emergency medicine. A scoping review of online educational content was performed by a panel of subject area experts for each step in Kern's framework. Best practices and recommendations for future development for each step were established by the same panel using a modified nominal group consensus process. The most prevalent curriculum design steps were (1) educational content and (2) needs assessments. Identified areas of potential innovation within these steps included targeting gaps in specific content areas and developing underrepresented instructional methods. Steps in curriculum development without significant representation included (1) articulation of goals and objectives and (2) tools for curricular evaluation. By leveraging the power of the community, crowd-sourced curriculum development offers a mechanism to diffuse the burden associated with creating comprehensive online learning centers. There is fertile ground for innovation and scholarship in each step along the continuum of curriculum development. Realization of this paradigm's full potential will require individual developers to strongly consider how their contributions will align with the work of others.