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Virtual IPE: a brave new world of learning

11 February 2021
Volume 30 · Issue 3

Recently there has been a significant increase in online learning across all higher education programmes and there is a need for these to be identified and recognised as pedagogically effective. Interprofessional education (IPE) is an important approach for preparing students in the health professions to provide patient care in a collaborative team environment.

IPE has been used successfully over the past few years by the universities of Reading and West London, traditionally as face-to-face sessions that bring together nursing, midwifery, paramedic, pharmacy and operating department practitioner students. Accelerated by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, IPE sessions have moved to a virtual learning environment (VLE), with more than 200 students at each session.

IPE sessions have centred on a patient scenario and last around two hours. To ensure the taught material is representative of all professions and levels, the session lead must have an in-depth understanding of the topic to ensure it reflects practice. All professional groups contribute to the overall writing of the session material, which is adapted for an online platform. Pre-session materials are accessible one week before the session to be completed as part of an investigative activity and pre-learning.

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