Workshop Abstract

Rapid Prototyping:

Establishing Virtual Interprofessional Communities of Practice

💻 Delivered Virtually

📅May 25, 2021

Anna Lama
Larry Hurtubise
Melinda Rhodes-DiSalvo
Carol Hasbrouck


By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the merits of virtual community of practice (VCoP) for encouraging professional development.

  • Identify needed roles and potential collaborators for implementing a VCoP.

  • Use Rapid Prototyping to establish a VCoP.

The Problem:
With the advent of COVID-19, course directors in health professions education were under pressure to transition to remote teaching with little training in online technologies or pedagogies (Hays R, Jennings B, Gibbs T, Hunt J, , et al. 2020,). During the first three months of the pandemic, articles were published about a variety of Covid-19 related topics such as curriculum adaptation, guidelines for using technology, assessment adaptation, impact on students, faculty and career development, and conference adaptation. Whether a blended or fully online model, this places a greater onus on faculty developers to create stakeholder specific workshops including engaging material and dynamic teaching methods within a virtual environment (Hays et al., 2020; Rose, 2020).

The Innovation/Initiative:
To meet this need, an interprofessional group of faculty developers at one institution collaborated using rapid prototyping to implement a virtual community of practice (Sherbino J, Snell, Dath, Dojeiji, Abbott, Frank, 2010 ). A virtual community of practice (VCoP) model was used to enable participants to share real time the problems they faced and to develop solutions while including participants and facilitators from a variety of institutions. Rapid prototyping, an iterative approach involving cycles of design-based improvement (Mintrop, 2016; Ronquillo, Currie, Rowsell & Phillips, 2016) was used to develop a series of high-yield sessions on topics like the Hyflex model, clinical teaching, assessment, active learning and small group teaching needed for teaching in the summer and fall of 2020.

The Gap:
There are very few studies on using rapid prototyping to implement VCoPs as faculty development in healthcare education literature. Approaches to faculty development such as workshops, longitudinal programs, work-based learning communities of practice have been studied, as well as peer coaching and peer observation communities. However, information on how organizations look at existing programs to determine if their approaches are successful in design could be useful.

The Takeaway:
Rapid prototyping or faculty development is an efficient way to generate a change idea that is urgent and actionable to you, your institution, and your stakeholders, based on existing programs at your institute, in a safe-to-fail environment to better focus on developing strategies to meet the challenges of your stakeholders.