Web-based Unfolding Case Study in an Interprofessional Online Population Health Class
Background: Collaborative Online Learning (COL) has been designated by the Health Professions Accreditors Collaborative as an interprofessional learning modality that utilizes information and communication technology to facilitate collaboration between students from different health programs or with practitioners that represent different professions. Innovative approaches to COL have been investigated to address logistical challenges that limit the implementation of interprofessional education. Using a combination of an unfolding case study and virtual reality simulation may solve these logistical barriers while providing students with opportunities for engaging and immersive interprofessional collaboration. The primary objectives were to (1) determine impact of a web-based unfolding case study on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of dental, nursing, physician assistant, medical, pharmacy, and public health students in an online, interprofessional population health course and (2) gain student feedback to modify and improve for future iterations.
Methods: An unfolding case study was delivered within a population health course over a series of four asynchronous modules. The unfolding case format utilized prototypical virtual reality to create an interactive video experience depicting a patient encounter. 309 students from the listed professions were assigned to interprofessional teams of 4-5 to complete a series of activities embedded in the unfolding case. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected to evaluate program and learner outcomes. An appraisal of activities and reflection papers was conducted to assess learner outcomes. A quantitative post-module objective-based survey, a qualitative post-course survey, and a debriefing session were used to gather data to evaluate effectiveness of the program and gather feedback for improvement of the modules.
Results: Response rates to the quantitative post-module survey varied from 57% to 68% (n= 176 to 211). Sixty-nine percent of respondents agreed that module 3 objectives were met, 79% agreed that module 4 objectives were met, 81% agreed that module 5 objectives were met, and 83% agreed that module 6 objectives were met. Qualitative data provided information about knowledge, skills, and attitudes gained from the unfolding case, feedback for further development of the virtual reality prototype, and the impact that the start of the COVID-19 pandemic had on the unfolding case.
Conclusions: The findings of this report indicate student-reported increase in knowledge, skills, and attitudes related to modular content.
Implications: Data indicates recommendations for further development of unfolding case study to include expanded interactive virtual reality features, examples of successful patient encounters, and additional activities to build interprofessional skills through engagement with peers.