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COVID, coronavirus, pandemic, interprofessional learning, online, COVID-19


Interprofessional education is generally defined as “when students from two or more professions learn about, from and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes”. IPE is most effective when interaction occurs between students and when learning methods reflect the real world practice experiences of students. This principle was challenged during the recent Covid-19 pandemic. Due to the sudden move to increased online learning, institutions of higher learning have had to improvise and adapt their established interprofessional learning environments to an online format. This presented many hurdles because little was known about how team function translates to an online environment. At the USD School of Health Sciences (SHS), the annual IHEC Activities Day planned for March 24, 2020 had to be adapted to an online format on short notice. The Student Learning Objectives were to:

1. Work as a healthcare team that interacts remotely to complete an assignment.

2. Function as a member of an interprofessional team, accepting input from and valuing contributions by team members of all professional levels and disciplines.

3. Demonstrate, through remote interactions with other health care professionals, professional attitudes and share knowledge.

4. Consider a complex, real-time, emergent situation and propose solutions that are based on science and research.

The purpose of this study was to determine whether students working in physical isolation but through a remote Zoom platform, and working on a group assignment, would experience the activity as interprofessional. The results show that students perceive working as remote teams as “interprofessional”.

Research Area

School of Health Sciences