Every program delivered at the MGH Institute and every faculty member uses Brightspace in some capacity. “At a bare minimum, the LMS is used for distribution of course materials, which eliminates our use of paper,” explains Stratford. “However, we work with many faculty who are web-enabling their courses and using Brightspace to extend learning beyond the classroom. They are using the Brightspace Discussion tool to facilitate interprofessional conversations. Students complete tests online and submit their assignments via Brightspace. Faculty post grades and feedback via Brightspace as well. More and more are using Adobe Connect™ with Brightspace to bring guest speakers into their lectures. And some are even doing a “flipped” classroom, using Brightspace to capture and record a lecture, pushing it out to students for discussion prior to the class meeting”.
The school also has all its course syllabi stored within the Brightspace Learning Repository. This boosts the productivity of new instructors, who can quickly pull down and access a course syllabus when teaching in a program for the first time.
MGH Institute’s students enroll in the prelicensure graduate programs with a bachelor’s degree and satisfy the science prerequisites. Depending on the student’s academic or continuing professional development they take some of their courses online. That said, the work is far from independent. Through its IMPACT Practice (interprofessional education) curriculum, MGH Institute promotes collaborative interprofessional and team based learning for all prelicensure students, , facilitated by Brightspace, with students supported by health mentors, simulations, and health professionals from various local clinical partners.
In the Graduate Program in Occupational Therapy, one of the Institute’s newer academic programs, the faculty with support from the Information Technology staff, use the Brightspace competency functionality to map over 270 pre-defined competencies and course objectives mandated by the corresponding professional association. In addition, the Institute faculty have defined a standard set of core competencies for students in all entry level health professions programs which will eventually be mapped to the individual curricula. The Institute’s core competencies are modeled after competencies set forth by the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) and the Institute of Medicine as universal competencies for all health care professionals.
“I know of no other model in health sciences education that has gone to this extent, and within the functionality of the Brightspace environment,” says Stratford. “From a competency perspective, our students need to understand, for instance, the quality metrics as they relate to patient safety and how to work within the information systems as a clinician. Within our respective curriculums, students achieve these competencies at different stages. Each program’s core competencies will be mapped uniquely to a specific program curriculum, with interprofessional education requirements mapped across all curricula.”
The core competency-based learning initiative has also led the MGH Institute to expand its use of Brightspace. In addition to using the platform’s Competency tool, the school has recently added the ePortfolio module, which allows students to showcase artifacts of their learning related to a core competency, demonstrate their achievement and reflect on their learning. The MGH Institute has also recently implemented Insights™. While it is currently used at the instructor level to capture classroom and course data, it will eventually provide the dataset for the core competency initiative allowing the MGH Institute to perform outcome analysis.
The use of Brightspace has also allowed the MGH Institute to explore new online learning programs and revenue streams. The school offers pre-requisite courses for students entering graduate health science education programs including their own academic programs. Over the last few years it has begun marketing and offering these science pre-reqs entirely online to students in other geographies, and who are enrolling in other programs and educational institutions. “We’ve packaged these courses to be offered completely online through a newly created department of continuing professional development. We’ve added a course merchant front end to Brightspace, and plan to continue to scale this effort up using our existing Brightspace environment,” says Stratford.