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New CCSC Course Equivalency Guidelines

New Course Equivalency Guideline with Credit Hour Assignments and Contact Hour Targets to Take Effect Academic Year 2015-2016

As was discussed and approved at the March 2015 and May 2015 meetings, the following guidelines address LCME standard 8.7 (Comparability of Education/Assessment): “A medical school ensures that the medical curriculum includes comparable educational experiences and equivalent methods of assessment across all locations within a given course and clerkship to ensure that all medical students achieve the same medical education program objectives.”

The first of these are the overall guidelines for course equivalency; the second specifies the statewide credit hour allocation within the second guideline.


CCSC Course Equivalency Guideline

Approved by the CCSC 3/10/2015

On behalf of the Curriculum Council Steering Committee and in upholding our mission of providing oversight for the medical degree curriculum at the IUSM, we offer these criteria as standard principles in course construct, administration, and evaluation.  These guiding principles frame the core target of equivalence in course instruction that we deem foundational to a medical degree at IUSM, and which individual course and session construction should uphold.

  1. Course Level Objectives will be identical for any site offering of an individual course, or will accurately reflect the objectives relevant to the composite topic list of the course, constructed from the IUSM core course objectives.
  2. Credit Hour allocation will be equal among all identical courses at all sites.  Courses that are constructed from a composite of objectives/topics from the IUSM core objective list (Composite Courses) shall be designated with a credit hour allotment that reflects the appropriate proportion of credit hours ascribed to the IUSM core course/objective list.  Total Credit Hours at any site of instruction for the pre-clinical or clinical phase of coursework will be maintained at an equivalent total and should be balanced within the academic time of instruction.  (See approved credit hour allocations below).
  3. Course Assessment will include at least one, identical statewide assessment of student education (often medical knowledge assessment through NBME examination or OSCE testing) that will be utilized for student outcome/grade comparison and integrated into student final grade discernment.  The broad components that contribute to final grade discernment (e.g. medical knowledge assessment, subjective evaluation of team work, or patient care assessment, etc.) will have a weighting towards a student grade that is equivalent statewide.  Variations to the weighting of components will be approved by the relevant central course administrative body/person, as applicable.
  4. Grade Assignment will reflect total student performance within a course and will reflect a student’s performance among their peers within a statewide course and the course’s statewide assessment.  Course grade distributions at a statewide level will abide by the IUSM Grade Distribution Guidelines.

Compliance in meeting these guidelines is expected by July 31, 2015 to enact in AY 2015-2016.  Specific factors or limited issues not in compliance by that date require a formal report from the representative course directors to the CCSC outlining an exact process/plan to achieve compliance by beginning AY 2016.


Credit Hour Assignments and Contact Hour Targets for Statewide MS1 and MS2 Courses 2015-2016

Approved by the CCSC 5/12/2015

Pursuant to the Course Equivalency Guidelines approved by the CCSC in March 2015, we offer the following credit hour assignments and contact hour targets for courses in the 2015-2016 academic year.

Course Total Credit Hours Target Contact Hours
Biochemistry (3) & Molecular Biology (3) 6 99.0
Evidence-Based Medicine & Biostatistics 1 16.5
Gross Anatomy 7 115.5
Histology 5 82.5
Introduction to Clinical Medicine I 3 49.5
Introduction to Clinical Medicine II 21 346.5
Medical Genetics 2 33.0
Microbiology (4) & Immunology (2) 6 99.0
Neuroscience 5 82.5
Pathology, General (6) & Systemic (5) 11 181.5
Pharmacology 6 99.0
Physiology 7 115.5
Total 80 1320

Since credit hours are used to determine contact hour targets (credit hours x 16.5 hrs/credit = contact hours), target contact hours may be affected by these credit hour changes. In most cases, the credit hour change either has no effect or increases the number of contact hours allotted for a course. We recognize in a few cases that the credit hour change will reduce the number of contact hours allotted. Course directors, whose courses remain above the target hours, will be asked to report how they have reduced their contact hours to comply with these new targets.


The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.

Alan Ladd

Bio coming soon.