Flipping the Virtual Classroom: A Multimodal Approach to Telehealth Competency Development
Concurrent Session 1
As the “typical” classroom shifts from physical to virtual, how can we optimize time apart and together? Learn how one program blends self-directed eLearning, interactive webinars and virtual simulations to develop nurse practitioner students’ telehealth competency. Discuss strategies for moving away from lecture-style webinars to maximize interaction and experiential learning.
Does blended learning require a physical classroom component? Upon posing this question to attendees who’ve lived through the COVID-19 pandemic, we predict a resounding “no.” Although blended learning has historically been defined as education that includes both online and traditional face-to-face classroom components, as the “typical” classroom has shifted from physical to virtual, our definitions of blended learning must also shift. Rather than focusing on place, it is time to focus on learning.
A central premise of the flipped classroom is that lecture is not the best use of in-person time. This concept guided the design of an innovative educational program through which nurse practitioner (NP) students are learning to use telehealth technologies and consider social determinants of health (SDOH) to optimize care for people who may have chronic health issues or lack access to care due to location or other barriers. The term “telehealth” encompasses the use of videoconferencing, mobile health and remote monitoring technologies in healthcare delivery (HealthIT.gov, 2019). SDOH refers to the “conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play that affect a wide range of health and quality-of life-risks and outcomes” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021). Using telehealth technologies to deliver care remotely and consider SDOH while addressing a wide range of health issues is a complex competency that is best supported by a multimodal approach.
The educational program includes three types of complementary learning experiences to support students’ competency development. Like a traditional flipped classroom, students first complete self-directed eLearning “primers” that provide foundational knowledge related to SDOH in rural and urban communities, conducting an effective telehealth visit and integrating mobile health and remote patient monitoring data into the care process. After completing each eLearning primer, students participate in a synchronous, experiential learning webinar designed to enable faculty-student and student-student interaction and guide application of new knowledge. For example, students view and critique expert role plays and videos of telehealth encounters; practice introducing themselves as if conducting a telehealth visit; share experiences using mobile health applications; and present and discuss cases from their clinical experiences.
The eLearning primers and experiential learning webinars prepare students for participation in simulated telehealth encounters. During these real-time virtual visits, students meet with Standardized Patients (SPs) representing patients from urban and rural underserved communities with varied SDOH and chronic and/or behavioral health conditions. The SPs are carefully trained to portray patients’ characteristics in an authentic and consistent way. Following each encounter, the SPs provide students with feedback from the patient perspective, and faculty observers engage students in a reflective debriefing. Each student participates in two or three telehealth simulations, allowing them to practice and develop their telehealth competency over time.
Evaluation findings indicate the program is achieving positive results. Scores on the eLearning primer quizzes indicate most students achieved the necessary foundational knowledge, with an overall average quiz score of 82%. Students’ evaluations indicate they value each type of learning activity. Ninety-two percent of students who completed the end of program survey strongly agreed the learning modules increased their knowledge and 89% strongly agreed they would be able to apply their learning in clinical practice. Comments from the student evaluations indicate they enjoyed the interactive, experiential nature of the synchronous webinar sessions, in particular the peer-to-peer clinical case discussions. Ninety-four percent of respondents strongly agreed that the simulations helped to prepare them to deliver telehealth in the future, and 100% believed the SP and faculty feedback was valuable.
Starting with our opening question, this session will engage participants in an interactive discussion of best practices for combining self-directed eLearning and person-to-person experiential learning to support learner achievement of complex competencies. We will use a variety of creative polling strategies (e.g., think-pair-share, quiz questions, word clouds) to glean audience knowledge and insights and prompt active, ongoing participation. Using the educational program as an example, we will discuss approaches for moving away from lecture-style webinars to maximize interaction and experiential learning. Participants will leave the session with an expanded view of blended learning, an understanding of how different teaching approaches contribute to the learning process, and concrete strategies that can be adapted to optimize learning in asynchronous and synchronous online environments.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2021). Social Determinants of Health: Know What Affects Health. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/socialdeterminants/index.htm
- HealthIT.gov (2019). What is telehealth? How is telehealth different from telemedicine? Retrieved from https://www.healthit.gov/faq/what-telehealth-how-telehealth-different-te...