Students’ perceptions of interprofessional learning through facilitated online learning modules
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BACKGROUND: Asynchronous e-learning is an appealing option for interprofessional education (IPE) as it addresses the geographic and timetabling barriers often encountered when organizing activities across educational programs. AIM: This study examined the extent to which pre-licensure students were able to learn with, from, and about each other through completion of innovative online IPE learning modules. METHODS: Seventy-seven students completed e-learning modules developed through a consortium of educational institutions. Evaluation was primarily qualitative through focus groups, interviews, analyses on off-line discussions and an online feedback form. RESULTS: Qualitative analyses of the discussion fora revealed that students were able to solve problems collaboratively, clarify their professional roles, and provide information from their professional perspective. Focus groups and interviews reinforced that students recognized the importance of working together and implicate clinical education as an important venue to reinforce learning about collaborative practice. Analyses of the online feedback form suggest the need for clear processes related to group assignments and deadlines. CONCLUSION: Students learned about each other's role, solved problems together and had positive perceptions of the online modules as a venue for interprofessional learning. Results are encouraging to those interested in using e-learning in IPE as part of an overall curriculum.
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