IUSM-NW curriculum is unique among the regional campuses and Indianapolis in that it has a hybrid Problem Based Learning (PBL) curriculum that began in 1990.
The scene on the left is a sculpture to the north of the library building on the campus of Indiana University Northwest.
In this PBL curriculum, our students master the basics medical sciences during the first two years one course at a time (block scheduling). Each course (Step) uses patient cases as a stepping stone to master the essential concepts of a basic science. Students meet in a small group room two to three times a week in groups of 6 to 8 students with a faculty facilitator and discuss a paper patient case one page at a time. Students decide what is important to learn from the information on the page, research the information, and come back and discuss what they have learned before getting new information to discuss. PBL sessions are supplemented in many Steps by classroom lectures or discussion sessions and three steps (2,4 and 7) have laboratory sessions. Formal class time ends at noon for students to have time to research information from PBL cases and classroom sessions. Most courses have only a mid course (Step) and final exam. Final exams in all courses throughout the state are external exams. Campus Comparison Grid. Students run their own evaluation of the courses (Steps) in a process called Continuous Quality Improvement.