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ERIC Number: ED560353
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 173
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3033-6809-7
Exploring the Use of a Social Network to Facilitate and Integrate Long-Term Interprofessional Educational Experiences
Pittenger, Amy L.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Minnesota
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of implementing interprofessional education to students from six health professional programs through use of an online social networking platform. Specifically, three pedagogical models (Minimally Structured, Facilitated, Highly Structured) were evaluated for impact on student engagement, attitude, professional identity and satisfaction. This research attempted to create a participatory culture and an environment that fostered participation by all members, but also allowed members to interact with the environment in a personal way, acknowledging that the environment is different for each learner. An ecological perspective of learning and strategies for fostering collaborative engagement guided this research, both in the design of the Ning learning environment and in the development of learning goals. Students from all six University of Minnesota Academic Health Center (AHC) colleges (Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine, and Public Health) were represented in each pedagogical structure group and participated within their assigned group for 15 weeks. Students reported that Ning was a simple tool to use and a suitable virtual gathering place. Results of the quantitative measures (interprofessional perception and attitude survey tools, number of postings or self-reported time on the website) showed no significant differences between participants based on pedagogical group. Despite the lack of significance detected with the quantitative measures, qualitative measures, including content and discourse analysis of student postings and focus group transcripts, showed dramatic differences and suggest that the pedagogical structure did impact student engagement and effectiveness in fostering interprofessional awareness. This study found that students want meaningful interprofessional education opportunities, but logistical barriers have prevented all-encompassing, long-term experiences from being offered to students. Utilizing a social networking website, such as Ning, may be a feasible and effective strategy for making this long-standing goal a reality. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Minnesota