Curriculum Management System, OpalQM

We are implementing OpalQM as the curriculum management system (CMS) for the UW's School of Medicine (SoM). OpalQM is an online interface that allows curricular information to be collected, managed, analyzed and implemented in conjunction with Canvas.  The system facilitates day-to-day administration and delivery of course information and materials to learners and instructors, curricular development and review.  OpalQM will assist with efforts to build congruency through central management of blocks and clerkships.  Below we answer some questions about Opal.

I understand that the School of Medicine is implementing a curriculum management system. What is a curriculum management system, exactly?

A curriculum management system (CMS) is a database tool that is used to manage and report on an organization's curriculum structure. It helps track learning objectives, show cross-curricular thematic connections, house and deliver learning resources (syllabi, PowerPoint slides, etc.), and communicate to students.  The system we are implementing is known as OPALQM, or Opal for short. It was initially developed for the University of Manitoba, but is being substantially refitted for our unique needs and purposes.

How will OPALQM be organized?

In Opal, each planned learning experience is referred to as a session. So, for example, if the Lifecycle & Reproduction block includes a two-hour lecture on labor and delivery, that lecture is one session. Each of the times that a session is scheduled to occur are referred to as "events" (i.e. for the session titled Labor and Delivery, events might occur at 6:30, November 30, and 2:00, December 2).

Opal represents each site, so the sessions that make up Lifecycle & Reproduction will be represented multiple times, one for each WWAMI site.

How will an instructor use OpalQM?

In the new curriculum, instructors will use Opal to review pertinent information about a session's schedule, objectives, and resources, as well as to track a student group's previous experience with upcoming session topics. The system may, for example, be used to determine where in the curriculum a topic such as hypertension has previously been addressed, or will be addressed in future dates. Users will also be able to access curricular information across the regions.

Will OpalQM be used for grading and assessment?

Opal will not house student assessments or grades. However, information relevant to the scheduling of, preparation for, and accreditation reporting on assessments will be included. This may include the format and scheduling, and topics being assessed.

How will students access information in OpalQM?

Opal will publish information about each session to a block's Canvas site. In that block's Canvas site, students will be able to view the relevant information, resources, and web links for upcoming sessions.

Students will also be able to access Opal directly, in order to search for and review key materials as they study for exams or prepare for clerkship experiences.

Will Canvas still be used for first and second year blocks?

Canvas remains the primary tool for a block's day-to-day operations and announcements. Information in Opal will represent the unchanging "core" of a block's educational structure, and focus on information which is essential for accreditation reporting and curriculum mapping.

Will clerkship information be included in Opal?

One instance of each required clerkship will be included in Opal.  Learning objectives and the core required clerkship activities will be entered into Opal.  For example, in Internal Medicine, required lecture events will be placed in Opal, however didactic sessions held at teaching sites will not. All clerkship scheduling and reporting will remain in E*Value.

Who will manage and update OpalQM?

The curriculum office will actively support the placing, maintaining and reporting of all information in Opal. A position was created for a system manager, who will maintain its accuracy and support faculty, staff and students as they use it.

Will the 2014-2015 first or second year curriculum be placed in OpalQM?

No. As the new curriculum is developed and finalized, the curriculum office will work with block leaders to build content in Opal.