“Practicing in slow motion”: The development and assessment of an interprofessional clinical education curriculum for law and social work students
Interprofessional and interagency collaboration are currently considered to be essential features of professional practice for the provision of effective health, education and human services. Most major professional organizations have now acknowledged the importance of working collaboratively with other professions and have advocated that education programs prepare students to collaborate across professions through the development of interprofessional education programs. At this time there is little evidence to show that when professionals learn together that this enables them, in practice and in the future, to work more collaboratively to achieve client goals.
There is a gap in the current evaluation literature that fails to explain the link between interprofessional education teaching and learning, student outcomes and changes in actual and future practice. This research sought to address these limitations by examining an interprofessional clinical education curriculum developed for law, social work and psychology graduate students with the goal of identifying useful information for further curriculum development and begin to try and establish the theoretical links between interprofessional education outcomes and improved client outcomes.
The outcome of a descriptive and developmental process known as evaluability assessment, logic modeling was used in this study as a tool to both describe the curriculum and to estimate the likelihood of curriculum success prior to attempting to confirm effectiveness through outcome evaluation. This study extended the evaluability assessment design to include a process evaluation to assess whether the curriculum was delivered as planned by faculty. There were findings of high implementation fidelity of the curriculum. The curriculum was examined over a period of three academic semesters using mixed methods of qualitative research that produced a detailed curriculum description. Logic modeling was used as the framework to organize and analyze the data.
Findings reveal that in this curriculum, there exists a plausible theoretical relationship between interprofessional curriculum activities, interprofessional student outcomes and curriculum resources. The process evaluation also provided more information about the relationship between teaching and supervision methodology, change in knowledge, skills, behaviors and attitudes in students and the influence of those changes in how practice was carried out. Students report the learning of profession specific competencies, shared competencies and collaborative competencies. Recommendations for curriculum change and future outcome evaluation are presented.
0745: Higher education