Hi Everyone

Lori Thibault (an instructor in the Practical Nursing Program at Saskatchewan Polytechnic) and myself (instructor in the Dental Hygiene Program at Saskatchewan Polytechnic) are excited to share with you this Interprofessional Education (IPE) Online Experience. Providing interprofessional opportunities for our students will teach them the importance of working with others and lead to better health outcomes for our patients. According to Castro, Julia, Platt, Harbaugh, Waugaman & Thompson (1994) patients are divided up by body part, body system, by disease or by interventions recommended. Dentistry is no different and the mouth seems to be excluded from the rest of the body! According to the Canadian Dental Association, only 6.2% of health spending by our Canadian government is allotted specifically to dental care. Most Canadians rely on private insurances to subsidize their care. The fundamental premise behind the integration of IPE is that health professionals learn together so that they will be better prepared to work together (Kanji, Lin and Krekoski, p.42) We hope you like what you see.

Retrieved from

Course Profile for IPE Sandbox Course

Created by Dean Lefebvre and Lori Thibault

Target Population:

We developed a brief anonymous survey that was used to collect data about our students and to identify any barriers they may face in accessing our online course. Our target population is adult learners between the ages of 19 and 51 (a majority are in the 19-25 range), at Saskatchewan Polytechnic, from both the Dental Hygiene Program and Practical Nursing Program.  Students are from various cultural and ELA backgrounds. There are 24 Dental Hygiene students in the second year of a three-year program and they are all female. There are 24 Practical Nursing students in the 2nd year of a 2-year program and consists of 3 males and 21 females. The results of the survey are as follows:

Question Dental Hygiene
Practical Nursing
Experience with another online course 23- yes 1- no 20 – yes 4 – no
Reliable internet access 24- yes 24 – yes
Own a computer, laptop or tablet 24- yes 24-yes
Barriers in access 22- no 2- low bandwidth occasionally 22 – no 2 – ye (outdated computer, occasional low bandwidth)
Comfort level with Brightspace   9- very confident 11- very good 3- average 3 – very confident 16 – very good 4 – average 1 – fair
Comfort level with online communication 4- very confident 8- very good 8- average 2- fair 2- poor 11 – very good 5 – average 6 – fair 2 – poor
Awareness of online support 23- yes 1- no 23 – yes 1 – no
Use of online support and was it helpful 19- used it and 17 students found it was helpful 19 – used it and all found it helpful (5 didn’t use it)

Students are required to have their own laptops for the Practical Nursing Program. Dental Hygiene will have the same requirement for 2019-2020 since all exams will be delivered electronically E-textbooks are also offered as an option for students to purchase. Computers are available in the library for students to access and free Wi-Fi is offered throughout Saskatchewan Polytechnic Campuses.  

Type of Course:

Our course will be provided in an online format, using asynchronous instruction.  In online learning the student uses the internet to access learning as well as educational tools, assignments or exams.  This is done using a course platform accessible on a computer. Our course is an online course. Saskatchewan Polytechnic has recognized the “New Learner” in their Strategic Plan 2014-2020. The Strategic Plan identifies that “online learning will transform into social learning: instant access, highly interactive, often virtual, collaborative, anytime, anywhere learning, with access to world-class subject matter in a highly customized manner” (p.22). Jukkala and White (2014) reveal that “many institutions struggle to get students in the same room at the same time” (p.95). Scheduling and time restrictions create a barrier for IPE to occur and delivering it in an online format will provide the flexibility required for this course to be successful.

Course Toolset:  

Platform: We are using the ‘Brightspace D2L’ platform to build our program.  Brightspace was first introduced as Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s Learning Management System (LMS) in 2015 and all online courses have been using this format for delivery. In 2018, faculty from all programs were encouraged to use Brightspace to augment their face to face courses. Training and support is offered for all faculty through our Learning Technology Department. Faculty are able to access resources online and facilitators are readily available for personalized support throughout the day. Brightspace offers a variety of useful learning tools for both faculty and students. It allows you to manage and monitor educational activities, provides collaboration and communication opportunities, offers multiple media tools to satisfy every type of learner and is easy to use. The online calendar allows students to effectively manage their course load and upcoming due dates. Assignments and online exams allows for ongoing and timely feedback for students. Students are offered support online with a “Help” portal in the taskbar or through our Helpdesk if any issues arise.

Instructional Tools:

·       Brightspace D2L LMS platform

·       Powtoons video 

·       Written content

·       Video on IPE and importance

·       Link to Escape room for learning assessment

·       Reflection on learning and using template to identify IPE competencies

Course Content and Learning Objectives:

Course Content: Learning will be centered around IPE learning between the Dental Hygiene students and Practical Nursing students. Interprofessionalism is a national competency for both programs. According to the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada, “Dental hygiene programs should provide opportunities for students to integrate their knowledge and abilities with other health science students’ knowledge and abilities. These opportunities will foster effective working relationships and provide opportunities for students to experience and develop skills in the area of interprofessional collaboration”. Practical Nursing’s accreditation body, the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing, require that “the educational unit is engaged in partnerships that support excellence in nursing education. Partnerships refer to collaborations that support the achievement of the unit’s strategic goals, collaborations among educational units to deliver a collaborative nursing education program, and formal agreements with health service organizations, community-based agencies, members of other professions, and other relevant groups to provide professional and interprofessional learning opportunities for students” (p.12).

Learning Objectives:

Module 1 – Interprofessional Education (IPE) definition and introductions

  • Learning Outcome 1: Describe Interprofessional Collaboration

Module 2 – IPE Benefits and Barriers for Dental Hygiene Program and Practical Nursing Program students

  • Learning Outcome 2: Discuss the advantages and challenges of interprofessionalism

Module 3 – Components Needed for Successful IPE (Application of the Canadian Interprofessional Competency Framework Model)

  • Learning Outcome 3: Describe the context and culture of the IP environment

Module 4 – Case study and evaluation of IPE

  • Learning Outcome 4: Participate as a Member of an Interprofessional Team

Assessment Strategies:

We will be using the digital classroom escape room format to assess whether learning outcomes 1, 2 and 3 were successful in this course. Students will also reflect on how they worked collaboratively on the case study presented using a template to analyze IP competencies established by the Canadian Interprofessional Competency Framework (Learning Outcomes 4).

Considerations for common concerns:

We will be uploading any video content using Kaltura program which automatically adjusts the program quality to allow flexible viewing for any bandwidth, whether rural dial-up, high-speed or even using personal electronic mobile devices (EMD) or cellphones.  If students do not possess an EMD, they may use the school library.  However, it is a requirement of the online course that students possess their own EMD so this should not be an issue. To address EAL students we will be ensuring that any videos on the program are scripted so any student can read the print or use it for their notes.  We will also try to provide course content using a combination of audio and visual formats to reach all types of learners as well as maintain interest and engagement. Faculty will be readily available to assist students who may encounter issues with content or understanding.

Cultural considerations:

 The case study we will be using will reference an Aboriginal male who is experiencing issues in accessing care. The Canadian Dental Association has identified Aboriginal People as a vulnerable population because of the many social determinants of health they encounter when accessing oral care. The Canadian Nursing Association has stated, “No group in Canada suffers greater discrimination and ill health than Aboriginal people” (p.20). The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has also made recommendations on improving healthcare delivery to improve outcomes. By introducing this culturally sensitive subject and have culturally diverse students we will be supporting cultural competence. Instructors will be monitoring the discussion forums to ensure student conduct is following Saskatchewan Polytechnic policies.