Developing online resources for health professionals
The Consortium national de formation en santé (CNFS) (National Consortium for Health Training) is an alliance of 11 post-secondary institutions across Canada that offer French-language degree programs and professional development in health-related disciplines. The University of Ottawa is a member, along with Collège Boréal, La Cité collégiale, and Laurentian University in Ontario.
CNFS receives funding from Health Canada and many of the courses supported by the CNFS are available online. The training is designed for Francophones outside Québec, with the online offerings allowing them to stay in their communities to complete the credit courses and professional development offerings.
As a member of CNFS, the University of Ottawa created a series of online professional development workshops to respond to the need for health professions to learn how to work together cooperatively for patient care.
Professional development is an essential part of health training. The University of Ottawa has developed a series of online workshops for health trainers, administrators, team leaders, and others. The themes of the workshops are centred on clinical supervision and include such topics as conflict resolution, research-based practice, and interprofessional cooperation.
For those who are interested in learning how to teach about interprofessional cooperation in health care settings, the online workshops take advantage of numerous teaching and learning tools – case studies, discussions, quizzes, readings, comparing student answers to those of experts, photos, group activities, videos, and cartoons. The facilitator and the participants work together online to support reflection and analysis.
The participants create their own action plan for interprofessional activity, guided by cartoon episodes of the Three Little Pigs learning how to work together to protect themselves from the wolf.
Outcomes and Benefits
The workshops have been very useful as the participants analyse their own workplaces and situations and develop plans for interprofessional cooperation that respect their constraints and capacities. The subject of interprofessional cooperation is also very timely as this practice becomes necessary and accepted in health care settings.
The wide variety of materials in the online workshops offers resources suitable for all learning styles.
Challenges and Enhancements
One of the biggest challenges was getting the workshops endorsed and/or accredited by the provincial and national associations affiliated with each profession, such as nursing and physiotherapy.
With workshops offered at no charge to the participants, there is always the challenge of a high drop-out rate. Through the provision of engaging and practical resources, the drop-out rate has been kept low for these workshops.
The resources are available in French to be used by the members of the consortium. The CNFS is open to discussions of the resources being used by other institutions and of the resources being translated into English. Some of the workshops have already been translated and used by institutions that are not members of CNFS, such as McGill University and the Academic Health Council in Champlain, Ontario and there are discussions concerning further translations.
Director, Centre for e-Learning
University of Ottawa