Inohana IPE minimizes classroom lectures to allow students to learn through experience including exercise and practical training, their own group work, and reviews that utilize portfolio.
Learning through Experience
Under Inohana IPE, classroom lectures are minimized and students actually gain experience and learn through exercise and practical training to face real patients, service users, medical settings, and medical professionals.
Students are thrown into difficult challenges such as “Interactive, Hands-on Practical Training” (Step 1) to interact with patients and service users, “Field Visit Practical Training” (Step 2) to actually observe the way of cooperation in the medical setting, “Conflict and Struggle Resolution” (Step 3) to resolve conflicts and struggles that could arise in the medical setting, and “Hospital Discharge Planning” (Step 4) to plan hospital discharge while incorporating the preference of the patient and consulting with the frontline medical professionals. Through experiences gained there, they will feel, think, and learn. That said, one cannot resolve these types of difficult challenges alone; therefore, it becomes necessary to cooperate, share the knowledge, and work together.
Learning through Group Work
During exercises and practical training, students will work in a group consisting of a mix of three to four individuals from three undergraduate schools or in a unit that combines two groups.
These groups always consist of students from three undergraduate schools, including School of Medicine, School of Nursing, and Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. This is because we want students to personally feel the trust among group members—the foundation of IPW—through the experience of learning from each other and helping each other among students from different discipline.
Each student from various undergraduate schools will share the expertise that he/she has mastered and work on a common assignment in cooperation. In addition to getting to know each other, group work learning is intended for students to reassess themselves, increase own expertise, and develop attitude and skill to autonomously cooperate.
To support this type of group work, we have established basic principles of Inohana IPE, or the ground rules. The ground rules are abided not only by students but also by everyone involved in Inohana IPE including faculty members and professionals. Faulty members and professionals have the responsibilities and roles to assist and support students to independently think, act, and achieve academic goals while recognizing students as adults who are fully capable to think and decide.
Besides students learning from each other, we hope faculty members and various professionals at the practical training sites to also have bi-directional or multi-directional learning effects to reflect and deepen the understanding of own expertise and cooperation through their participation in Inohana IPE.
Learning through Review: Reflection and Portfolio
To ensure that students will turn such learning by experience and group work into their own skills rather than something that is tentative and ends there, Inohana IPE values learning by reflection.
Reflection means introspection or self-examination—to look back and consider. How did the practical training go this time? How was the group work? Looking back to rethink own action—rather than leaving the event merely as a temporary experience—allows to identify future tasks and gain insights that can be utilized in the next action in order to further improve oneself. The learning attitude to reflect while practicing and then practice while reflecting on daily basis is essential for professionals.
Based on the belief that students need to make it a habit to record what is happening as a fact, what they thought, and how they acted so that they can look back later, even after graduating here and going into the busy and complicated medical field, we require them to submit the Lecture Record/Reflection Sheet, Self-Evaluation, and Group Evaluation on each lecture.
Portfolio, which originally meant “paper clip,” is used for collecting the day-to-day learning history that can be reviewed later as a record of own learning process. Using the Inohana IPE Portfolio, students will file the Study Guide, Lecture Record/Reflection Sheet, “How to Proceed with the Study” teaching material, worksheets, and various documents such as lecture handouts.
In other words, the Inohana IPE Portfolio represents everything that students learned in Inohana IPE in a tangible format. We encourage students to prepare a portfolio for them to systematically look back on their study at any time in order to visualize hands-on learning and utilize them for own study.
Through such a method, we hope students will acquire the attitude to continue learning throughout life, which will become a foundation for undertaking IPE with various people in various settings to further master IPW skills even after each student completes Inohana IPE.
Utilization of Moodle
Inohana IPE also utilizes an open-source learning management system (LMS) called Moodle for e-learning. Moodle is basically used for preparing courses for each “Step,” posting messages and informational documents, having students submit and enter assignments, and so on. The version is updated as needed to improve the system’s usability.
Introduction of iFolio (e-portfolio)
We have also introduced e-portfolio (online portfolio). “iFolio” is short for Inohana e-portfolio. They are created by using an open-source e-portfolio system called Mahara. iFolio works in conjunction with Moodle so that students can click a few times to forward the assignments submitted on Moodle to own iFoilo for archiving and review own learning at any time from an environment where they can access the Internet.