The use of social networking to improve the quality of interprofessional education

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Objective. To evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of using an online social networking platform for interprofessional education. Design. Three groups of 6 students were formed with 1 student in each group from medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, and public health. Each group followed a different collaborative educational model with a unique pedagogical structure. Students in all groups interacted via an online social networking platform for a minimum of 15 weeks and met in person once at the end of the 15-week experience for a focus group session. The students were tasked with developing a collaborative recommendation for using social networking in interprofessional education programs. Assessment. Most of the students who reported in a post-experience survey that their expectations were not met were in the minimally structured group. Almost all students in the facilitated and highly structured groups indicated that this experience positively impacted their knowledge of other health professions. Most students stated that interacting within a social networking space for 15 weeks with other members of the university's health professions programs was a positive and effective interprofessional education experience. Conclusion. Social networking is feasible and can be used effectively within an overall strategy for interprofessional education, but design and placement within a core content course is critical to success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican journal of pharmaceutical education
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2013


  • Interprofessional education
  • Pedagogical models
  • Social networking


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