Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
Department of Pharmacology & Clinical Pharmacology, University of Auckland
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
Department of Pharmacology & Clinical Pharmacology, University of Auckland

Curriculum DataBase Project

[The CDB Project is currently inactive. No resources are available for further development.]


The curriculum database (CDB) project has two overall objectives:

  1. Collection of data describing teaching sessions in the BHB and MBChB Programmes.
  2. Provision of reports about curriculum content.


The specific aims of the CDB are:

  1. Development of a web based data entry system to collect and maintain information about teaching sessions.
  2. Collection of teaching session data for each course in the BHB and MBChB Programmes.
  3. Creation of a map of curriculum content based on keywords for each teaching session.
  4. Provide data for timetabling of Courses and Programmes.

Progress to date

  1. A data base for the CDB was developed in association with the Electronic Campus project. Mr Denis Stanton (Project Manager, Interactive Media Unit, ITSS) was responsible for the Electronic Campus. He and Mr Hadley Wickham (Medical Student) created a SQL database (Informix) and a web based editing system.
  2. A pilot database was created using a draft version of the "Disease Processes and Therapeutic Principles" course which was subsequently taught in Semester 1 2001.
  3. Denis Stanton left ITSS at the end of 2000 and the Electronic Campus is no longer supported. There is currently (June 2001) no database supporting the CDB project.
  4. A collection of reports have been created. Details of how reports are defined are described here. Running a report generates a table presented in a web page. The table can be selected then copied and pasted to other applications e.g. Excel


All data shown is provisional

Sessions by discipline (count)

distinct discipline count
Biochemistry 1
Clinical 3
Clinical Pharmacology 27
Community Health 1
General Practice 1
Immunology 4
Microbiology 6
Molecular Medicine 1
Pathology 20

Using the CDB

The CDB was accessed via the Electronic Campus under the Administration topic. Access is controlled through the use of NetAccount. Staff who needed to modify the CDB had to apply for a NetAccount login and password and use the NetLogin application on the computer they used to access the Electronic Campus. NetAccount login and password can be obtained at the Philson Library by producing a valid University ID Card.

Loading course and session data

Initial loading of data to the CDB is most easily done by providing information in an Excel workbook. You may obtain a copy of a template workbook to enter data for your Course.

The Worksheet contains macros. If you get a warning about macros you should Enable Macros. The completed Excel spreadsheet should be emailed to Nick Holford.

The cdbcourse.xls file contains 4 worksheets:

  1. Staff Details: Table of Staff names associated with the paper with their telephone extension, email alias, NetID, and primary Division or Discipline. Course coordinators should add to this table. The telephone extension, email alias, NetID and Division/Discipline can be found by using the Staff Directory. Hint: Set the Search By field to Partial Family Name when using the Staff Directory search.
  2. Course: Table of teaching sessions and associated details. The broad outline of the Course sessions is probably best done by the Paper Coordinator with the Title, Outline and Topic fields being provided by the person responsible for teaching each session (Session coordinator).
  3. Summary: Lists total number of sessions and total duration (hours) for each Teaching Discipline. These values are automatically calculated from the data in the Courses worksheet when you enter a Teaching Discipline name in the first column.
  4. Lookups: Tables of Divisions and Teaching disciplines. Course coordinators should add to this table.


Session: The number of the session in the planned sequence for this Course.

Staff: Name of person responsible for providing teaching in this session. This person is the Session Coordinator. It is not necessarily the person who actually teaches the session.

NetID: Previously known as a UPI or Unique Public Identifier. "UPIs have been developed to provide names that can be used for computer accounts throughout the University while satisfying the dual requirements of guaranteed uniqueness and being in the public domain." Automatically filled in if the Staff worksheet contains the NetID and the session coordinator name is the same in the Staff and Course worksheets. The NetID is an essential part of the CDB system and is used to link staff members with specific Coursess and Sessions.

Teaching Discpline: The Teaching Discipline reflects the academic grouping for the session topic. Some Divisions (previously known as Departments) may have TDs within them e.g. Microbiology in Molecular Medicine, others may be the same as the Division e.g. Pathology, and others may span Divisions and Disciplines e.g. Clinical Pharmacology involves staff from the Divisions of Pharmacology & Clinical Pharmacology and Medicine and the Discipline of Pharmacy. Members of Teaching Disciplines will usually coordinate their TD content across Courses in the Medical Program.

Week: Week of the semester

Day and Time: Day of the week (Mon, Tue, Wed, Thur, Fri) and Time of day (use HH:MM format e.g. 8:00) Duration: Session duration in hours (or parts of an hour).

Streams: If the class is split into streams the number of simultaneous streams should be indicated here e.g. Streams should be 2 if the class is split into 2 groups taught at the same time.

Size: Fraction of the class in each stream e.g. two simultaneous streams with half the class in each stream should have Streams 2 and Size 0.5. If streams are not simultanous e.g. half the class one week and the other half get the same session the following week then use 2 sessions with Streams 1 and Size 0.5.

FTEh: Full Time Equivalent Hours. Calculated from Duration*Streams*Size. Indicates the number of full time equivalent student hours associated with the session. One FTEh represents the full class attending a one hour session.

Type: Pick from Lecture (basic unit of instruction); Practical (teaching session of a practical nature; use Practical rather than Laboratory); Tutorial (small group learning session); Workshop (review/integrative session); Clinic (clinical involving a patient); SDL (Self directed Learning).

Title: Session title. Brief descriptive identifier for the session.

Outline: Brief description of the content and objectives of the session. Typically a single paragraph. Detail sufficient for others to get a clear idea of the material taught in that session.

Topic: Words or short phrases which can be used to build a list of keywords. Each word or phrase should be separated by a semi-colon e.g. Anatomy; Coronary artery; blood flow. In future these topic words/phrases will be used to build a list of keywords. Keywords will be be restricted to a specific list used for defined searches on the content of the curriculum.

Comment: This field can be used for notes about this session during development of the Course worksheet. It is not used in the CDB.