Interprofessional education (IPE) has been promoted as a method to enhance the ability of health professionals to learn to work together. This article examines several approaches to learning that can help IPE fulfill its expectations. The first is aimed at the transfer of learning novel situations and involves two ideas. Students need to be challenged with progressively more complex tasks and those tasks need to reflect the reality in which they will be working. Second, the learning situation needs to be structured using the five elements of best-practice cooperative learning: positive interdependence, face-to-face promotive interaction, individual accountability, interpersonal and small-group skills, and group processing. Finally, the learning process itself needs to be approached from an experiential learning framework cycling through the four-stage model of planning, doing, observing and reflecting. By using increasingly complex and relevant cases in cooperative groups with an experiential learning process interprofessional education can be successful.
ASJC Scopus subject areas