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Nurse Educ Today. 2009 Feb;29(2):232-9. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2008.08.012. Epub 2008 Oct 8.

Enabling interprofessional education: the role of technology to enhance learning.

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The School of Health and Social Care, Bournemouth University, R307 Bournemouth University, Christchurch Road, Bournemouth BH1 3LT, UK.


Interprofessional education (IPE) in health and social care undergraduate education is a key governmental driver [DOH, 2001. Working Together, Learning Together. A Framework for Lifelong Learning in the NHS. HMSO, London]. In the UK, IPE has been advocated and developed as a means to encourage effective collaboration in order to improve public sector services [Barr, H., Ross, F., 2006. Mainstreaming interprofessional education in the United Kingdom: a position paper. Journal of Interprofessional Care 20 (2), 96-104]. An IPE curriculum was introduced at the School of Health & Social Care for undergraduate students (n=600) from a variety of health and social care disciplines. As a part of this process, there was a demand for ways to allow students and staff to interact and collaborate through learning resources at different locations and times in order to learn interprofessionally. Blended learning was the chosen approach leading to the development of a simulated web-based community learning resource - Wessex Bay. This paper considers the development of Wessex Bay from technical and pedagogical perspectives. The curricular context for the development is considered and the role of simulation in meeting educational needs is explored. The technical development is outlined followed by an overview of an evaluation of its use in the first two years of the IPE programme. Conclusions are drawn around the strengths and limitations of this approach, including a consideration of further opportunities for developmental work.

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