Medical EducationOriginal Article

Ready for Residency: A Bloomian Analysis of Competency Based Osteopathic Medical Education

Kyle Rosenberger, MEd; Daniel Skinner, PhD; and Jody Monk, MEd
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: March 25, 2017

Accepted: April 18, 2017

Published: August 1, 2017

J Osteopath Med; 117(8): 529-536

Context: Bloom’s Taxonomy is a widely accepted tool for analyzing learning objectives, creating assessment materials, and ensuring that students move progressively through various levels of knowledge and cognition. Competency-based osteopathic medical education has, to the authors’ knowledge, yet to be subjected to systematic bloomian analysis.

Objectives: To advance a bloomian analysis of competencies published by the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) and draw consequences of that analysis for undergraduate osteopathic medical education.

Methods: Content analysis of the verbs and contexts used in the AACOM competencies was conducted, followed by categorization by the various cognitive and knowledge dimensions as specified by the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Results: The majority of AACOM competencies gravitate toward the taxonomy’s apply and procedural cognitive and knowledge dimensions, respectively. In addition, 58% of the top 10 most-used verbs in the document were identified to be in the apply cognitive dimension. An analysis of the competencies revealed that 69% can be categorized under the procedural knowledge dimension. Of 657 code co-occurances, 45% were from the apply cognitive and procedural knowledge dimensions. These figures suggest a skewing toward application-based cognitive and procedural-based knowledge over other types of cognitive and knowledge dimensions.

Conclusions: Bloom’s Taxonomy offers a useful framework for understanding how competency-based osteopathic medical education is organized. Such analysis underscores the importance of attending to the language and construction of competencies to better understand how the language of competencies shapes pedagogic practices and begin a broader conversation about the appropriate use and distribution of lower- and higher-order cognitive processes within competency-based osteopathic medical education.

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