171380 Building providers' interpersonal skills through an online, constructivist learning experience

Monday, October 27, 2008

Peter Honebein, PhD , Academic Edge, Inc., Bloomington, IN
Richard Goldsworthy, MSEd, PhD , Academic Edge, Inc., Bloomington, IN
J. Dennis Fortenberry, MD, MS , Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN
John F. Toney, MD , Infectious Disease, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Linda Kollar, RN, MSN , Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinatti, OH
Many experts question the efficacy of teaching interpersonal skills through self-paced e-learning because: (1) media doesn't afford the learner the ability to directly practice the targeted interpersonal skills and (2) interpersonal skills are social; self-paced e-learning is not. While prima facie valid, these claims have not been empirically examined. Moreover, such e-learning does afford a cost-effective, efficient means of disseminating knowledge and skills.

The research question that drives this project is, therefore, "what level of practice fidelity can a self-paced, e-learning course support when teaching health care providers to effectively interact with patients?”

The context of our investigation is Just Ask, a web-based e-learning environment that builds care providers' interpersonal skills regarding STDs, HIV, and sexual activity. Grounded in a constructivist, problem-based learning framework, this multimedia learning experience engages the learner in patient assessment, screening, and treatment by:

1. meeting with experts to learn skills and strategies for effective patient interactions.

2. “shadowing” experienced health care providers through video scenarios.

3. providing primary care for patients through an interactive simulation interface.

Evaluation results indicate that Just Ask has a positive influence on the intended behaviors with regards to talking with their patients about sexual activity and issues and therefore the question of whether e-learning can be used to teach interpersonal skills appears to be a more complex one than previously considered: not “can it?” but “how and to what extent?”

The project framework and goals will be introduced, scenarios demonstrated, evaluation results reported, and implications for other training efforts drawn.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the principles of a constructivist approach for online health care provide training 2. List the elements of the CORES model for provider-patient interactions 3. Describe how to create video case simulations using guided improvisation techniques

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, STD Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I designed the solution described in the abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.