Interprofessional learning and virtual communities: An opportunity for the future
AbstractAs various agencies increasingly advocate interprofessional care (IPC), it is paramount that the educational implications of this approach are considered. Interprofessional learning (IPL) is necessary for IPC and this paper argues that an emerging educational model, narrative-based virtual communities (VCs), meets this goal. We therefore argue for the fusion of narrative pedagogy with the VC approach to further the IPL agenda. Using stories to teach is not new. Technological innovations now make the possibility of using narrative, a way to enable students to experience greater reality in complex situations. Recently, two multimedia VCs have been developed. Here, we review the use of “The Neighborhood” and “Stilwell”, as IPL tools. Early evaluation of these communities has been very positive and they offer a unique and innovative approach to IPL in ways that immerse learners from many professions into the context of the lives of individuals requiring health and social care, and the people who provide that service. Thus, it is possible to more fully realize and teach about collaboration and partnerships among professionals and patients.