A Tale of Two IPEs, Online Vs. In-person: Can We Accomplish the Same Outcomes?

Thursday, August 20, 2020, 1:15 pm - 2:15 pm EDT
COVID-19continuum - students and residentsonline/virtualassessment/evaluation

The spring 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic posed new challenges for IPE at The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth (UNTHSC). Less than three weeks before a planned in-person IPE workshop for 799 interprofessional health professions students, online education only strategies were implemented institution wide. Students from medicine, pharmacy, physician assistant, physical therapy, public health and health administration from UNTHSC along with students from nursing, social work, speech language pathology, athletic training, and dietetics from four partnering institutions were scheduled to come together on the UNTHSC campus, in small interprofessional teams to learn about, from and with each other around teamwork and population health within the context of a childhood obesity case.


Determined to avoid letting the pandemic rob students of their interprofessional education team interaction opportunity, a decision was made to shift the educational setting from in-person to an online conferencing format. 38 faculty were trained to host 88 interprofessional student teams of up to 9 team members. A population health topic was maintained. The context was shifted from childhood obesity to interprofessional teamwork within an international pandemic.


A condensed version of the W(e) Learn Interprofessional Program Assessment Scale designed to provide student feedback regarding structure, content, facilitation and outcomes of IPE activities is used at UNTHSC to compare student assessment data across pre-clinical IPE activities. Students respond to 15 items on a five-point Likert scale and to three open-ended questions. An in-person IPE workshop and W(e)Learn assessment had been conducted in the fall 2019 with the same student population that were now to participate in an online IPE workshop. With positive W(e)Learn responses for that in-person IPE workshop, the IPE Department team was interested to see how an online IPE workshop would compare.


W(e)Learn results for both workshops will be discussed in comparing student responses to the structure, content, facilitation and outcomes of the two IPE workshops, one in-person and one online. Comparative W(e)Learn assessment results along with qualitative feedback from students and faculty can be helpful in making future decisions about the design and delivery of IPE to health professions students in their pre-clinical education experience.


Learner Outcomes:

1. Learners will reflect on their own use of IPE assessment

2. Learners will evaluate the use of the WeLearn as an assessment tool within their IPE programs

3. Learners will explore the potential for success with online preclinical IPE


Active Learning Strategies:

1. Learner teams will discuss the use of the W(e)Learn assessment to establish comparative data across pre-clinical IPE activities

2. Learner teams will share challenges and solutions to moving IPE to online learning formats

3. Learner teams will create suggested guidelines on online vs. in-person preclinical IPE


Seminar Outline:

10 minutes: Introduction and Background

10 minutes: WeLearn Data Discussion and Unintended Consequences Discussion

20 minutes: Breakout Groups Discussion of use of WeLearn as a tool for comparative data, challenges and solutions to online IPE and suggested guidelines on balancing online and in-person IPE

20 minutes: Share Out and Concluding Comments