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An exploration of teaching presence in online interprofessional education facilitation
journal contributionposted on 01.01.2017, 00:00 authored by Sherryn EvansSherryn Evans, Catherine WardCatherine Ward, S Reeves
BACKGROUND: Although the prevalence of online asynchronous interprofessional education (IPE) has increased in the last decade, little is known about the processes of facilitation in this environment. The teaching presence element of the Community of Inquiry Framework offers an approach to analyze the contributions of online facilitators, however, to date it has only been used on a limited basis in health professions education literature. AIM: Using an exploratory case study design, we explored the types of contributions made by IPE facilitators to asynchronous interprofessional team discussions by applying the notion of teaching presence. METHODS: Using a purposeful sampling approach, we analyzed 14 facilitators' contributions to asynchronous team discussion boards in an online IPE course. We analyzed data using directed content analysis based on the key indicators of teaching presence. RESULTS: The online IPE facilitators undertook the three critical pedagogical functions identified in teaching presence: facilitating discourse, direct instruction, and instructional design and organization. While our data fitted well with a number of key activities embedded in these three functions, further modification of the teaching presence concept was needed to describe our facilitators' teaching presence. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides an initial insight into the key elements of online asynchronous IPE facilitation. Further research is required to continue to illuminate the complexity of online asynchronous IPE facilitation.