Merging social networking environments and formal learning environments to support and facilitate interprofessional instruction
This study describes the redesign of an interprofessional team development course for health science students. A theoretical model is hypothesized as a framework for the redesign process, consisting of two themes: 1) the increasing trend among post-secondary students to participate in social networking (e.g., Facebook, Second Life) and 2) the need for healthcare educators to provide interprofessional training that results in effective communities of practice and better patient care. The redesign focused on increasing the relevance of the course through the integration of custom-designed technology to facilitate social networking during their interprofessional education. Results suggest that students in an educationally structured social networking environment can be guided to join learning communities quickly and access course materials. More research and implementation work is required to effectively develop interprofessional health sciences communities in a combined face-to-face and on-line social networking context.
PubMed URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20165519