Big Decisions: Deciding What to Keep Online After the Successful Transition of an Active Interprofessional Education Course During the Pandemic
The University of Texas Southwestern School of Health Professions successfully transitioned a year-long, active and in person, interprofessional development course to an online format during the pandemic. A holistic model incorporated online pedagogy, educational technology, and innovative solutions to maintain the active learning in the course. Assessments measured outcomes and student evaluations contributed to formative feedback and summative review of the activities. The new online course format was a success! What, if anything, should we bring back to a face-to-face environment as students begin to return to campus?
The HCS5106 Interprofessional Development, Education, Active Learning (IDEAL) course is a year-long mandatory course for first year graduate health professions students. During the course, students (physician assistant, physical therapy, prosthetics-orthotics, and clinical nutrition) interact with students from other healthcare disciplines (medicine, nursing, pharmacy, occupational therapy, and social work) and faculty facilitators in a small group setting. Topics include communication skills, teamwork, conflict management, cultural competency, and other interprofessional skills necessary to succeed in a collaborative healthcare environment. Complex active learning activities that had to transition online included: an assisted living facility visit incorporating an interprofessional team interview and assessment of an elder person living at the facility; a large symposium-like activity with small interprofessional breakout groups using an escape room activity to build communication and teamwork skills; a simulation of an interprofessional team meeting for discharge planning of an elderly patient, and incorporating a “standardized” family member trained with scripted responses; and a pre-clinical “boot camp” style symposium including TeamSTEPPS® Essentials and an interactive workshop on how to address harmful bias in the clinical setting. These transitions incorporated innovative solutions to keep the learning active and the students engaged. The next phase will involve reviewing factors (i.e. cost, accessibility, outcomes, and student preferences) to decide which, if any, online solutions to keep.