Supporting AAMC's Curriculum Inventory

Posted by Ilya Kaplun on Nov 20, 2017 3:09:36 PM

Firecracker is committed to working with our institutional partners to ensure their submission of the Curriculum Inventory (CI) meets the AAMC guidelines and business rules for the inventory structure and competency framework. Our focus is to accurately represent curricular data and student activity on our platform using the appropriate curriculum structure rules and standardized vocabulary.

Firecracker’s statement of support for curriculum management and reporting tasks, such as the AAMC CI Report is with the understanding that Firecracker is in a supporting role. We have not sought to become an approved vendor because no school has asked for this level of support but we are absolutely open to it.

With our in-house engineering team and experience in transforming data, we are very confident that we can meet the appropriate ANSI/MedBiquitous and AAMC specifications. Firecracker is used in many different instructional and assessment methods by our partners and some examples are listed in the tables below, with the appropriate CI vocabulary.

Unique Identifier

Instructional Method

(Curriculum Inventory Standardized Vocabulary)


Case-based learning

Use of patient cases (actual or theoretical) to stimulate discussion, questioning, problem solving, and reasoning on issues pertaining to the basic sciences and clinical disciplines (Anderson, 2010)


Concept mapping

Technique [that] allows learners to organize and represent knowledge in an explicit interconnected network. Linkages between concepts are explored to make apparent connections that are not usually seen. (Weiss & Levinson, 2000, citing Novak & Gowin, 1984)


Discussion, large group

An exchange (oral or written) of opinions, observations, or ideas among a Large Group [more than 12 participants], usually to analyze, clarify, or reach conclusions about issues, questions, or problems (ERIC, 1980)


Discussion, small group

An exchange (oral or written) of opinions, observations, or ideas among a Small Group [12 or fewer participants], usually to analyze, clarify, or reach conclusions about issues, questions, or problems (ERIC, 1980)


Independent learning

Instructor-/ or mentor-guided learning activities to be performed by the learner outside of formal educational settings (classroom, lab, clinic) (Bowen & Smith, 2010); Dedicated time on learner schedules to prepare for specific learning activities, e.g., case discussions, TBL, PBL, clinical activities, research project(s)



An instruction or verbal discourse by a speaker before a large group of learners (Institute for International Medical Education, 2002)


Problem-based learning

The use of carefully selected and designed patient cases that demand from the learner acquisition of critical knowledge, problem solving proficiency, self-directed learning strategies, and team participation skills as those needed in professional practice (Eshach & Bitterman, 2003; see also Major & Palmer, 2001; Cooke, Irby, & O'Brien, 2010b; Barrows & Tamblyn, 1980)


Self-directed learning

Learners taking the initiative for their own learning: diagnosing needs, formulating goals, identifying resources, implementing appropriate activities, and evaluating outcomes (Garrison, 1997; Spencer & Jordan, 1999)


Team-based learning

A form of collaborative learning that follows a specific sequence of individual work, group work and immediate feedback; engages learners in learning activities within a small group that works independently in classes with high learner-faculty ratios (Anderson, 2010; Team-Based Learning Collaborative, n.d.; Thompson, Schneider, Haidet, Perkowski, & Richards, 2007)



Instruction provided to a learner or small group of learners by direct interaction with an instructor (ERIC, 1966c)

 Table 1 - Instructional Methods

Unique Identifier


(Curriculum Inventory Standardized Vocabulary)


Exam - Institutionally Developed, Written/Computer- based

Examination utilizing various written question-and-answer formats (multiple-choice, short answer, essay, etc.) which may assess learners' factual knowledge retention; application of knowledge, concepts, and principles; problem-solving acumen; and clinical reasoning (Cooke, Irby, & O’Brien, 2010b)


Exam - Licensure, Written/Computer-based

Standardized written examination administered to assess learners' factual knowledge retention; application of knowledge, concepts, and principles; problem-solving acumen; and clinical reasoning, for licensure to practice in a given jurisdiction (e.g., USMLE for the United States); typically paired with a clinical performance component (MCC, 2011a & 2011b; NBOME, 2010b; USMLE, n.d.); may also be used by schools or learners themselves to assess achievement of certain curricular objectives


Exam - Nationally normed/standardized, Subject

Standardized written examination administered to assess learners’ achievement of nationally established educational expectations for various levels of training and/or specialized subject area(s) (e.g., NBME Subject or “Shelf” Exam) (NBME, 2011; NBOME, 2010a)



The process of evaluating one’s own deficiencies, achievements, behavior or professional performance and competencies (Institute for International Medical Education, 2002); Assessment completed by the learner to reflect and critically assess his/her own performance against a set of established criteria (Gordon, 1991) (NOTE: Does not refer to NBME Self-Assessment)


Stimulated Recall

The use of various stimuli (e.g., written records, audio tapes, video tapes) to re-activate the experience of a learner during a learning activity or clinical encounter in order to reflect on task performance, reasoning, decision-making, interpersonal skills, personal thoughts and feelings, etc. (Barrows, 2000)

Table 2 - Assessment Methods 


Topics: AAMC, Curriculum

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