Faculty team explores how to expand virtual learning opportunities

February 24, 2017

GW SON faculty members continue to expand their expertise in online learning. GW's Cross-Disciplinary Research Fund awarded $33,901 to a team led by Dr. Laurie Posey to focus on increasing opportunities for health care students to engage with standardized patients in an online setting.

GW SON clinical graduate students currently have to travel to Washington, D.C., for testing in scripted clinical scenarios, which is logistically challenging and expensive. Virtual clinical encounters would place less of a burden on students.

This grant focuses on developing and pilot testing a Virtual Patient Portal building on the Adobe Connect platform, to include a custom-developed Electronic Health Record "pod," as well as designing an effective interface to support virtual standardized patient encounters.

A second, larger grant awarded by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) Center for Regulatory Excellence provides funds to compare learning outcomes from telehealth-enabled standardized patient encounters (TSPE) with learning outcomes from face-to-face standardized patient encounters (FSPE). This team, which includes GW SON’s Drs. Christine Pintz, Pearl Zhou, Karen Lewis, Pam Slaven-Lee, DNP, and Angela McNelis, will also develop evidence for best practices in teaching and learning, and evaluate whether TSPE is a viable method to teach and assess graduate nursing students’ diagnostic reasoning competency in an online graduate nursing program.