A team-based interprofessional education course for first-year health professions students

Curr Pharm Teach Learn. 2017 Nov;9(6):1099-1110. doi: 10.1016/j.cptl.2017.07.006. Epub 2017 Aug 18.


Background and purpose: Interprofessional education (IPE) is required within pharmacy education, and should include classroom-based education along with experiential interprofessional collaboration. For classroom-based education, small-group learning environments may create a better platform for engaging students in the essential domain of interprofessional collaboration towards meaningful learning within IPE sub-domains (interprofessional communication, teams and teamwork, roles and responsibilities, and values and ethics). Faculty envisioned creating a small-group learning environment that was inviting, interactive, and flexible using situated learning theory. This report describes an introductory, team-based, IPE course for first-year health-professions students; it used small-group methods for health-professions students' learning of interprofessional collaboration.

Educational activity and setting: The University of Toledo implemented a 14-week required course involving 554 first-year health-sciences students from eight professions. The course focused on the Interprofessional Education Collaborative's (IPEC) Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaboration. Students were placed within interprofessional teams of 11-12 students each and engaged in simulations, standardized-patient interviews, case-based communications exercises, vital signs training, and patient safety rotations. Outcomes measured were students' self-ratings of attaining learning objectives, perceptions of other professions (from word cloud), and satisfaction through end-of-course evaluations.

Findings: This introductory, team-based IPE course with 554 students improved students' self-assessed competency in learning objectives (p < 0.01, Cohen's d = 0.9), changed students' perceptions of other professions (via word clouds), and met students' satisfaction through course evaluations.

Discussion and summary: Through triangulation of our various assessment methods, we considered this course offering a success. This interprofessional, team-based, small-group strategy to teaching and learning IPE appeared helpful within this interactive, classroom-based course.

Keywords: Classroom-based; Course; Development; Implementation; Interprofessionalism education.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Curriculum / trends*
  • Education / methods
  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Placement / methods*
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Ohio
  • Perception*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Self Efficacy
  • Self-Assessment
  • Students, Health Occupations / psychology*