of knowing what the instructors were measuring and therefore had greater knowledge about what aspects were important and should be focused on.
Not only did students learn from their preceptors and from each other, but faculty also heard from students regarding their level of coaching and learned whether they intervened too much or not enough. There were also surveys completed by faculty and students, followed by a structured debriefing. Although students were eager to talk about all that went wrong during the exercise, they were forced to follow a set format where students and faculty discussed what went well, what could have gone better, what is the one thing that they took away from the exercise, and what each person learned from the entire experience. One additional tool included in the assessment portfolio was a video recording of the case exercises. This was set up by a doctoral student doing her dissertation on the psychometrics of the simulated case tool to see whether it was possible to measure teamwork in individuals who are learning together for the first time.
Zierler closed her talk by describing the lessons she learned from their work on developing a patient-safety curriculum using simulated case studies. First, the context is vitally important. There is no one-tool-fits-all for IPE. The assessment instrument needs to be tailored based on the curriculum objectives, the goals, and the setting in which the interprofessional experience will take place. If it is a high-stakes environment that is uncertain and highly complex (like the one Zierler set up), it is going to have different requirements that will need to be adaptable because each experience will be different.
Another discovery was that assessors often want to measure all aspects of IPE, but focusing on what the exercise is set up to teach will better link the assessment to the goals of the educational activity. Also, everyone on the team needs to be clear about the purpose of the team’s work, which often required a discussion about language. Zierler found they needed to talk about communication barriers, such as profession-specific definitions and jargon, to be sure team members were speaking the same language.
Strategies to enhance learning were also important. Because human patient simulators would not always be readily available, Zierler’s group also made use of actors so students could be exposed to both teaching modalities. Regardless of the educational tool, it was the instructional strategies and the design of the unfolding case that were the critical components.
Zierler also talked about the dose and timing of interprofessional training. It is not currently known how much IPE students should receive. For example, is a single exposure to IPE adequate, or does IPE need to be repeated throughout the student’s education? It is similarly not known