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Meeting Information


Dec 08, 2010


8 PST/11 EST/16 GMT



Please note: the conferencing service will ask you to enter the pound sign. Press # for pound.
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Attending: Tim Willet, co-chair; Susan Albright, Matt Cownie, Maria Esquela, Simon Grant, Valerie Smothers,

Agenda Items

1 Review minutes of last meeting

Valerie reviewed. The minutes were accepted.

2 Discuss feedback from technical steering committeere: IMS LODE and FRBR licensing

Valerie summarized the feedback from the Technical Steering Committee. IMS LODE could be helpful when searching for competencies because it would show how definitions of a particular competency changed over time. Tim thanked Valerie for her report.

3 New working group members (Matt Cownie, Chandler Mayfield)

Matt introduced himself. He works for the faculty of health and life sciences at University of the West of England. Their department has programs for everyone apart from the doctors. They get staff that cut and paste into word for frameworks. They also do continuing professional development. They did have EKSF, a government funded system for key skills framework. That went live 2 months ago, and it has already fizzled. They are going from monolithic solution to something more distributed. The Skills passport is sponsored by NHS. A standard schema would make skills data transferable.

Tim commented that he is hoping that new frameworks could be quickly implemented and adopted to show learners’ progress towards achievement.

4 Revisit target audience and open issues

Tim reviewed the list of open issues. Keyword can be optional. It’s included for searchability. Valerie commented that for lom fields, currently the documentation lists required and recommended metadata fields. Everything else in LOM is considered optional.

Tim commented that lifecycle version is not recommended. We could recommend in best practices that modifications not be published as new versions but as new object. Valerie agreed to clarify in the best practices. Susan and Maria agreed.

Tim then reviewed educational context. He had recommended it for competency framework. Usually they are released targeted to post grad, continuing professional development, etc. CanMeds is implemented at both the postgrad and CME levels. Scottish doctor targeted to undergrad. This is information worth capturing.

Susan asked how educational context differed from target audience. Tim replied that it lists the stage of training. Susan agreed there was no harm in recommending it.

Maria commented that the keyword field could be used for qualifiers, like the year of study. Tim replied that the framework allows for hierarchy, so frameworks could be organized by year. It may be an issue of implementation rather than competencies.

The group agreed rights should be recommended.

The group went on to discuss milestones. Valerie described what a milestone is. In residency training, they are identifying discrete entrustable professional activities that are tied to competencies. For example, performing a newborn exam. A first year resident would be allowed to perform a newborn exam under close supervision, while a chief resident would be allowed to perform the exam with no supervision.

Simon commented that is you define those as separate competencies,  you lose the natural link between them. The different conditions indicate levels of competence.

Tim commented that competency is still an abstract notion. The expectation at a given point in time is an implementation issue and is a property of the connection between the competency and the curriculum.

Tim moved on to a discussion of synonyms. Different organizations often have different titles for similar competencies. For example, the topic cardiovascular system may be called something different. If you represent the topic as a competency object, synonyms could be helpful in aiding searchability.

Susan asked how that would be different from keywords. Valerie commented that keywords are not tied to a specific vocabulary. Maria commented that synonyms could be helpful for reporting purposes. In pharmacy and nursing, competencies can be verbose. Their way of abbreviating might make the report more readable. Simon asked who would enter the synonyms. Maria replied that it varies. Simon recommended leaving the synonym out of the definition and allowing people to use synonyms within their own systems.

Tim commented that there are two issues. One is synonyms for use in searching. The other is abbreviations. Authors of competency objects may hardcode synonyms in item. For example, an object could be called cardiac anomalies, and the synonym cardiac malformations is hard coded in the definition. Alternately, cardiac anomalies could be linked to an external thesaurus like MeSH or UMLS. If you link to a UMLS entry, the computer can use that lookup to determine synonyms.

Tim added that normally a competency framework usually does not have two items that are logically equivalent, that is more an issue when mapping between two different competency frameworks.

Susan commented that they have struggles with two competencies meaning the same thing. They decided certain levels will be set by a central committee to stop redundancy. Tim questioned whether indicating a synonym within a framework was necessary anymore given that change. Keywords may be sufficient for search purposes.

Tim recommended reviewing past needs in relation to Maria’s issue about abbreviations.

Tim then moved to the question of using categories for competencies. The group agreed that we decided to use the term categories. A visualization tool could refer to it as a type, but the underlying xml would use the term category for clarity.

Tim summarized that this resolves outstanding issues related to competency objects.

5 Open discussion


Open issues with regard to competency objects have been resolved. We will pick up competency frameworks for the next call.

Action Items

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