Designing hybrid-accelerated programs: A model for healthcare education and beyond.

Concurrent Session 3

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

This session will highlight the distinct, yet interconnected, design and implementation of the multi-modal components of a hybrid-accelerated program. Sample learning activities and instructional design elements showcasing the application of the Community of Inquiry Framework will be shared with the audience. Attendees will receive job aids to facilitate design planning.  

Additional Authors

Education: B.S in Occupational Therapy, 2001 from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Occupational Therapy Doctorate, 2007 from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in Provo, Utah (RMUoHP) Specialty Certifications: Hybrid Learning Certification via Evidence in Motion, 2018-Present Seating & Mobility Specialist via the Rehabilitation and Engineering Society of North America (RESNA), 2011-Present Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) via the Rehabilitation and Engineering Society of North America (RESNA), 2006-Present Certified Fire Fighter via the Illinois State Fire Marshall's Office, 2010-Present Emergency Medical Technician via Illinois Department of Public Health, 2002-Present Awards: 2016 VGM’s Woman of the Year Award in the Home Medical Equipment Industry, awarded at the national MedTrade Conference in Atlanta, GA. Nov, 2016 Springfield Business Journal's Forty Under 40 Award, July 2018. Publications: Davin, K. (2020). Beyond the Fit: Addressing the Plague of Technology Abandonment. Rehab Management. 33(2), 14-17. Davin, K. (2018). Anterior Trunk Supports: Achieving Greater Function Through Torso Control. Rehab Management Fall Product Directory. 31(6): 14-19. Davin, K. (2017). Getting the Right Fit: Core Assessment’s Correlation to Seating Success, Pressure Relief and Skin Breakdown Prevention. Rehab Management. 30(2): 16-20. Davin, K. (2016). Using Pressure Mapping for Seating & Positioning Success. Rehab Management. 29(3): 24-31. Davin, K. (2015). Creating a Bulletproof Letter of Medical Necessity: Essential Elements to Create Success in Justification. Rehab Management. 28(9): 16-20. Davin, K. (2013). Sports Wheelchairs: Achieving a Perfect Fit for the Sport of Choice. Rehab Management. 26(3):14-17. Davin, K. (2013). Pressure Mapping Reveals the Complete Picture for Seating and Positioning Solutions. Rehab Management. 26(9):8-15. Davin, K. (2012). Fun Meets Function for Mobility Users. Rehab Management. 25(8): 20-25. Davin, K (2012). Making Adjustments (Contributing Author). Rehab Management. 25(3): 30-33.
Dr. Gagnon serves as the Director of Student Affairs and Clinical Associate Professor in Baylor University’s hybrid Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, one of the first DPT programs in the nation with an accelerated, hybrid curriculum. As Director of Student Affairs, Dr. Gagnon is responsible for uncovering novel solutions for humanizing online learning, keeping students connected, and providing student support in both virtual and face to face settings. She has played a key role in development of Evidence in Motion’s post-professional Hybrid Learning Certification (HLC), and serves as Co-Director of the program, working with experienced and novice health care educators to develop teaching expertise in hybrid and online learning environments.

Extended Abstract

Efficiency, flexibility, and effectiveness; today’s students are seeking these three features when exploring higher education options. With an abundance of programs available, institutions must rethink how education is delivered and embrace new models of instructional delivery.  Delivery of professional graduate education requires additional rigor with accrediting bodies raising the degree-level for entry into the professions, while also struggling to meet growing gaps in the workforce. Hybrid-accelerated programs may be the solution to these challenges. With the flexibility of online learning, the efficiency of an accelerated model, and opportunities for collaborative discovery during face-to-face learning, hybrid-accelerated programs have the potential to revolutionize healthcare education.


Hybrid-accelerated programs are a growing trend in higher education because of the positive research demonstrating improved student satisfaction, increased diversity among students, and improved learning outcomes (Castro, 2019). Current research supports accelerated and blended or hybrid learning models as effective methods for preparing healthcare students, though a paucity of literature explores these two learning models in combination (Posey, & Pintz, 2017). Given the need to increase diversity among healthcare providers, fill growing employment gaps, and develop efficient and effective educational programs, two hybrid-accelerated healthcare programs were developed. This session showcases the design and implementation of a hybrid-accelerated Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program and Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program.


The OTD and DPT programs have three distinct educational processes, online learning, face-to-face immersive laboratory experiences, and clinical education. Each of these components of the educational process had to be reimagined with a hybrid-accelerated learning model in mind. Based on Carman’s Blended Learning Process, the OTD and DPT program include face-to-face lab immersions (Live Events), asynchronous online content (Online Content), synchronous class meetings (Collaboration), formative and summative assessments (Assessment), and learning artifacts (Reference Materials). Each of these elements of the blended learning process was carefully designed, keeping in mind the accelerated and competency-based nature of the programs. Further, the critical elements of student engagement, collaboration, and communication necessary for success in classroom and clinical settings, was essential to highlight in the program design and implementation. The Community of Inquiry Framework was used to develop learning activities and create an environment of collaboration through the social-constructivist model. This session will highlight the distinct, yet interconnected, design and implementation of the online, face-to-face, and clinical education components of the curriculum, while providing attendees with specific and flexible examples they can utilize in their own programs, regardless of the discipline. 


Leveraging Carman’s Blended Learning Process, with an emphasis on integrating the Community of Inquiry Framework, the OTD and DPT programs provide a model for other programs exploring new avenues for teaching and learning.  Example course designs, technology utilization, and curricular planning templates will be discussed with the audience as the presenters describe the development of the five components of Carman’s Blended Learning Process in each program. Sample learning activities and instructional design elements showcasing the application of the Community of Inquiry Framework will be shared with the audience. Presenters will describe opportunities and challenges for designing and implementing a hybrid-accelerated graduate professional program from the student, faculty, and institutional perspective.


Level of Participation:

This session is structured as an educational session. Participants will hear presenters describe their experiences with designing and implementing hybrid-accelerated education in two healthcare programs. Following the informational portion of the session, participants will receive a job aid that promotes transfer of learning to their own work environment to include learning activities, emphasizing the application of the Community of Inquiry Framework, to each of the five elements of Carman’s Blended Learning Process.

Session Goals:

Individuals attending this educational session will be able to design learning activities for hybrid-accelerated courses utilizing principles of the Community of Inquiry framework for asynchronous online, synchronous online, face-to-face laboratory, and clinical education scenarios. Participants will be able to describe the opportunities and barriers associated with designing and implementing a hybrid-accelerated program. Lastly, they will be able to evaluate opportunities for hybrid-accelerated learning models within their institutions.



Castro, R. (2019). Blended learning in higher education: Trends and capabilities. Education and Information Technologies, 24, 2523-2546.

Posey, L., Pintz, C. (2017). Transitioning a Bachelor of Science in nursing program to blended learning: Successes, challenges & outcomes. Nurse Education in Practice, 26, 126-133.