Designing and Producing a 10-module IPE Mini-course Pilot: Successes and Lessons Learned
As a comprehensive academic health center, our institution serves approximately 4,000 students in more than 70 undergraduate and graduate degrees. Consistent with other health professions programs, the majority of our professional programs and disciplines have accreditation requirements for interprofessional educational (IPE) opportunities. In support of IPE programming, the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs, overseen by the Chief Academic Officer for the Health Sciences Center, is engaged in curricular oversight and the development of additional interdisciplinary offerings for the community of students, faculty and academic staff. The office, charged with identifying gaps in programming and coordinating solutions when possible, places high importance on the intentional inclusion of other cohorts and delivery of educational experiences meaningful to both a discipline-based and interprofessional context.
Initially, the project objective was the creation and implementation of a pilot project of interdisciplinary programming utilized by any learner within the following academic year. However, the curriculum committee is also tasked with the development of a longitudinal curricular menu utilizing a variety of methods. While the initial goal focused on a narrowly defined trial project, the long term goal focused on a series of competency-driven elective courses providing ongoing opportunities for all students.
Utilizing didactic education methods routinely employed by the coordinating office, a ten-module mini-course was designed and piloted in 2018-2019. Each of the ten modules focused on one or more of the IPEC Competencies. Four interactive thematic components were selected: Journal Club, Book Club, Pizza & Movie, and a Team-building Activity.
The pilot program was of significance because it provided a method by which comprehensive academic health centers can offer immediate access to programming while also testing a curricular method for future course offerings. The format of the program piloted a method in which learners could engage without a large investment of financial assets and/or human resources.