At Camosun, an interdisciplinary focus is being actively developed at the course, program and college level. With collaboration and teamwork, students and faculty are bringing interdisciplinary elements into their coursework, initiatives, projects, practicum opportunities, events, and workplace practice.
Creativity and innovation project: Transformative learning through interdisciplinary dialogue
Approximately 130 students from Sociology, Marketing, Early Learning & Care, and Mental Health & Addictions courses came together to discuss the important and complex issue of homelessness. After some in-class preparation, the students gathered for an afternoon of interdisciplinary dialogue and completed a post-event reflective paper as part of their graded course work.
Students heard the eye-opening and heartfelt personal stories of 3 guest speakers who have experienced homelessness and are a part of the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness speakers bureau. After hearing the presentations, students were divided into small teams with representation from each of the four discipline areas. In groups, they worked together to learn about the factors that influence homelessness, generate potential solutions, and explored the benefits of interdisciplinary collaboration for addressing such a complex problem.
Joint class interprofessional case study activity: Community, Family & Child Studies and Dental Hygiene
Students are provided with a complex case study. The students are to assume they are working as a part of an interprofessional team at a local Community Health Centre. In small groups, the students work through the case study, including:
- Describing how their profession contributes to an interprofessional team
- Developing a general assessment/diagnosis for the case study client and their family
- Considering possible intervention strategies
- Identifying who is missing from the conversation? And why?
- Discussing the benefits and challenges of interprofessional team work?
The students witness firsthand how a variety of disciplines can work together and the roles each one has for the benefit of the people they serve. We've had great success because it’s a circle, all relating to each other when we have IDE placements with our community partners, as our human bodies and minds are related, not square, and not separate.Without a doubt, we have had at least 5 programs that have been supported at one location with up to 3 programs at the same time. When this type of placement occurs, it is common place that the students meet with their site mentors at team meetings to review the whole picture of a person’s needs, all under strict confidence. This happens with several of our community partners who choose to support our students. In health, right from the start when we come from an Interprofessional Education perspective, we look at the whole picture hence the whole well-being of a person, which in most cases leads to solving challenges. There has been and always will be the opportunity for more than one discipline to work together.
Interprofessional education best practice session with Dr. Margo Brewer
Dr. Margo Brewer is the Director of Practice and Interprofessional Education in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. In this session, Dr. Brewer provided an overview of the Interprofessional Education best practices at Curtin University including language and definition design, curriculum delivery, and evaluation.
College wide community of practice: Interdisciplinary education
Our students are entering complex work environments where they will need to take into account multiple perspectives, and collaborate across a wide range of disciplines. How can we better prepare them for this reality? How can we as educators begin collaborating more effectively so that we are modelling interdisciplinary practice? If you get excited about innovating new approaches to education, and want to draw on a diversity of perspectives, then join faculty from across the college for stimulating conversation with an action oriented focus.