Learning! 100: Inspired Professional Learning at Mass General

Learning! 100: Inspired Professional Learning at Mass General

Professional Education Powered by Brightspace

The Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions (The MGH Institute) is an innovative interprofessional graduate school of health sciences founded by Mass General. Health science academic programs include Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant studies, Nursing, Communication Science & Disorders, Health Professions Education and PhD in Rehab Science. The MGH Institute seeks to be preeminent in educating graduates to be exemplary leaders in healthcare.

The MGH Institute has leveraged D2L Brightspace platform to facilitate its growth and expansion. When the school first migrated to Brightspace from its home-grown LMS- going live just 20 days after making its decision- the school had just 900 students enrolled in its programs. Today it supports over 1600 students and an expanding online presence for the MGH Institute

Every program delivered at MGH Institute and every faculty member uses Brightspace in some capacity. “At a bare minimum, the LMS is used for distribution of course materials, which eliminates our use of paper,” explains Stratford. “However, we work with many faculty who are web-enabling their courses and using Brightspace Discussion Tool to facilitate interprofessional conversations. Students complete tests online and submit their assignments via Brightspace. Faculty post grades and feedback via Brightspace as well. More and more are using Adobe Connect with Brightspace to bring guest speakers into their lectures. And, some are even doing a flipped classroom, using Brightspace to capture and record a lecture, pushing it out to students for discussion prior to the class meeting.

The school also has all its course syllabi stored within Brightspace Learning Reposi-tory. This boosts the productivity of new instructors, who can quickly pull down and access course syllabus when teaching in a program for the first time.

MGH Institute’s students enroll in the prelicensure graduate programs with a bachelor’s degree and satisfy the science prerequisites. Depending on the student’s academic or continuing professional development they take some of their courses online. That said, the work is far from independents. Through its IMPACT Practice (interprofessional education) curriculum, MGH Institute promotes collaborative interprofessional and team-based learning for all prelicensure students, facilitated by Brightspace, with students supported by health mentors, simulations, and health professionals from various local clinical partners.

In the Gradate Program in Occupational Therapy, one of the Institute’s newer academic programs, the faculty with support from the IT staff, use the Brightspace competency function to map over 270 predefined competencies and course objectives mandated by the professional association. In addition, the Institute faculty have defined a standard set of core competencies for students in all entry level health professions programs which will eventually be mapped to individual curricula. The Institute’s core competencies are modeled after IPEC and Institute of Medicine as universal competencies for all healthcare professionals.

The MGH Institute has also recently implemented Insights. It will eventually provide the dataset for the core competency initiative allowing the MGH Institute to perform outcome analysis.

The use of Brightspace has also allowed the MGH Institute to explore new online earning programs and revenue streams. The school offers pre-requisite courses for students entering graduate health science education program including their own academic programs. Over the last few years, it has begun marketing and offering these science pre-reqs entirely online to students in other geographies, and who are enrolling in other programs and education institutions.

Back in 2009 when MGH Institute first conducted its evaluation of LMS offerings, the clear choice was Brightspace, and nearly a decade later the school continues to feel confident about its decision.

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