21 April 2021, 2-3pm GMT – Design based research as a model 🗓


21 April 2021, 2 pm (GMT)


Design based research as a model for designing, evaluating and improving interprofessional education.


Maura Polansky and Debra Herman from School of Medicine and Health Sciences, The George Washington University, Washington, USA


Barriers to effective interprofessional education (IPE) include insufficient engagement of interprofessional faculty, atheoretical approaches to curricular design, and insufficient evaluation (Paradis 2018, Reeves 2015). Design-based research (DBR) utilizes an iterative approach to curriculum development, evaluation and revision involving collaboration between practitioners, designers and researchers (Dolmans 2012). It requires that curriculum development and evaluation be guided by and further inform relevant theory, thereby improving educational practice. This approach was adopted for the design of a new IPE course. A team of clinicians, leaders, educators, and scholars developed a course entitled “Interprofessional Collaboration in Practice” within a Doctor of Health Sciences program. Curriculum development was guided by theories relevant to IPE, such as social learning theories. (Wenger 2015) Regular meetings provided opportunities for team deliberations over course objectives, learning activities and assignments that support the development of competencies necessary for clinical and academic leaders to be successful in interprofessional practice. The evaluation plan involved continuous cycles of design, evaluation and redesign. During post-creation debriefing, the team affirmed that the DBR process was a valuable approach to meeting its curriculum development needs. The course was launched in spring 2021. All course outcomes will be evaluated in summer 2021. More than other curricular development models, DBR requires the inclusion of an interprofessional team consisting of practitioners, designers and researchers, knowledgeable about relevant theory and professional practice. The DBR approach is expected to result in more robust curricular outcomes. Design of IPE courses should be done with an interprofessional team using an evidence-based approach to curriculum development, evaluation and revisions informed by theory. DBR is such an approach to curriculum development that supports these best practices. Instructors should consider the DBR model as an established approach to support evidence-informed practices in curriculum development for IPE.
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