Adopting a modified Delphi technique for revisiting the curriculum: a useful approach during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Qualitative Research Journal


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe a participatory qualitative research project using the Delphi consensus technique aided by Internet technology for successful transition of academic endeavors during and the post COVID era. The study aimed to derive a holistic competency matrix for an optometry program for transformation of the program to competency-based education. Design/methodology/approach: This study combined a scoping review of literature for developing a baseline competency framework, along with derivation of an E-Delphi consensus within a panel of diverse stakeholders to achieve the objective of plotting a detailed competency matrix. Findings: The involvement of all stakeholders of educational system in Delphi study resulted in a valid and all-inclusive competency framework with 18 competency units and 97 competency elements. This framework provided a strong base for redesigning pedagogy and assessment methods during COVID-19 crisis. Practical implications: The paper highlights the feasibility and utility of adopting a participatory approach during COVID-19 outbreak. The Delphi technique aided by Internet technology was employed to develop a competency-based curriculum. Social implications: The paper narrates a suitable, feasible and scientific method for rapid transition in academia, following the restrictions and social distancing norms imposed during the COVID-19 outbreak. Originality/value: Although there is good evidence for use of the Delphi technique in curriculum development, this paper adds value by focusing on a participatory approach in using it. The suggested method here shows ways to gain optimum scientific output with minimum resources in constrained situations such as COVID-19 crisis.

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