A QUALITATIVE STUDY OF LEARNING PROCESSES IN A BLENDED-METHODS INTERPROFESSIONAL WORKSHOP

Effective interprofessional collaboration between health care and social care workers improves health outcomes for clients, and interprofessional education (IPE) helps these professionals develop the required relationships and competencies. This study used a blended-methods IPE workshop to investigate the IPE teaching and learning processes. The learners’ experiences of the different elements of the blended approach, as well as their perspectives on the benefits and challenges of the e-learning activities, were qualitatively explored. Learners were enthusiastic about synchronous e-learning activities such as VE simulation, which they described as exciting and engaging; however, fostering learner engagement and preventing distraction from other online activities were a challenge.

IPE course designers should:
1) design passive online activities with segments of less than 10 minutes,
2) focus on concrete examples of professional roles rather than abstract theories of interprofessional competence and
3) provide opportunities such as synchronous online activities to stimulate group interaction. The use of immersive virtual worlds holds promise as an educational delivery method for the interprofessional learner but requires careful design, clear communication about the goals of the educational intervention, and thoughtful facilitation and debriefing.