Integrating Innovation and Collaboration Across Institutions to Create Online Learning for Health Professionals

Concurrent Session 8

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

The presenters will share their experience developing online modules intended for Behavioral Health and Primary Care providers while collaborating with three different institutions and a granting body. This education session is geared towards those in the midst of a cross-institution collaboration or are thinking of embarking on such an endeavor.


Ricardo Poza M.Ed is currently an instructional technologist III at the Center for Integrated Primary Care at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is currently a doctoral student in Education with a concentration on Math, Science, and Learning Technologies.

Extended Abstract

Knowledge is not contained within geographic boundaries, hence the increasing need for institutions across time zones to collaborate on knowledge gathering and dispersal. The challenges of remote and virtual  communication are magnified as collaborators seek to integrate rapidly evolving innovations while retaining quality and staying true to the timeline.

These are just some of the experiences that the presenters will share while discussing the development of a series of 80 online modules intended for those practicing in the Behavioral Health and Primary Care fields. The development team for this project comprises subject matter experts (SMEs) from Arizona State University, The University of Massachusetts and The University of Vermont. The instructional designers also hail from different institutions - Arizona State University and The University of Massachusetts. The creation of the modules is part of a larger research study investigating the feasibility and benefits of integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care and is  funded through a grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Each module is considered a micro-learning event that should take the learner about 45 minutes to complete while providing definite strategies and knowledge to use right away. This method of delivery is becoming more common to address training issues since it minimizes the impact on the practice operations. As with any online offering, the designers face the challenge of creating a product that is competing with the learner’s many other attention grabbers. Through several iterations of rapid prototyping, the development team decided upon delivering content as a combination of static information and interactive content built in Captivate.

During the session, the presenters will share lessons learned on all aspects of development and the evolution of the relationship between the instructional designers and SMEs.  Attendees of this session will come away with concrete strategies to implement in their own collaborative efforts such as:

  • Best practices and tools for virtual communication and collaboration despite having different access to tools across the various participating organizations

  • Tips and tools for managing a project across different institutions

  • Things to consider when creating a blueprint for scalable production and global use

  • How to address scope creep without sacrificing innovation and creativity

Throughout the presentation, the audience will be encouraged to share their experiences and ask questions. Attendees will be asked to make an informal plan for themselves detailing specifics on how this information might be implemented immediately upon return to their organization.