Answer to "How do I assess interprofessional learning?"
Assessment principles for IPE should be the same as for any other assessments for health professional learners. The assessments should be focused on the defined interprofessional learning outcomes, with attention to the validity and reliability of different methods. One challenge may be the aim of having large numbers of students across different faculties, schools and departments undertake the same assessments: feasibility can thus be a major issue. It should be noted that learning outcomes/competencies relating to teamwork and collaborative practice are difficult to assess at the prequalification level. As many students work infrequently in defined interprofessional teams for any length of time, observation and assessment of their teamwork may be problematic. A team formed for the purpose of assessment, for example for a simulation or OSCE, may perform team tasks such as responding to a cardiac arrest, when teams form in response to an incident. However, a ‘team’ of students formed specifically to be assessed for their collaborative skills is unlikely to function well (Oakley et al., 2004). Academic, professional and interprofessional considerations and requirements often conflict; students may need to be assessed as individuals by a member of their own profession for end-point examinations.
Given that IPE focuses on the development of teamwork and collaborative practice competencies, attention needs to be given to:
Whether assessments are of individual or team performance (or both)
Who may assess whom: does the assessor have to be from the same profession as the student?
What type of faculty development is required to observe, give feedback and assess
What the assessment formats imply about the importance of interprofessional practice: assessments should always be for learning as well as of learning – with high educational impact.
Some institutions are adopting an interprofessional portfolio (or passport) approach for assessment. Learners provide evidence with reflection to show they have met the defined learning outcomes for their programme. One example is: http://physicaltherapy.med.ubc.ca/files/2012/05/The-Interprofessional-Passport-Guide.pdf
Main consensus statement
ROGERS, G. THISTLETHWAITE, J.E., ANDERSON, E.A., DAHLGREN, M., GRYMONPRE. R.E., MORAN, M. and SAMARASEKERA, D.D. (2017). International consensus statement on the assessment of interprofessional learning outcomes. Medical Teacher, 39(4), 347-359.
Comprehensive list of tools for assessing teamwork and interprofessional collaborative practice available at: https://nexusipe.org/informing/resource-center?f%5B0%5D=im_field_subject%3A1290&f%5B1%5D=im_field_resource_type%3A1360
ICAR (interprofessional collaborator assessment rubric) available at - https://www.med.mun.ca/getdoc/b78eb859-6c13-4f2f-9712-f50f1c67c863/ICAR.aspx
T-OSCE (team OSCE): a toolkit for development available at - https://fhs.mcmaster.ca/tosce/en/
DOMAC, S., ANDERSON, L., O’REILLY, M., and SMITH, R. (2015). Assessing interprofessional competence using a prospective reflective portfolio. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 20(3), 179-187.
OAKELEY, B., FELDER, R.M., BRENT, R. and ELHAJJ, I. (2004). Turning student groups into effective teams. Journal of Student Centered Learning, 2, 9-34.