An active learning module or ALM is designed “to provide structured, quality education opportunities directed to achieving demonstrable changes in the performance, knowledge, skills, behaviours, and attitudes of general practitioners” by covering one or more of the domains of general practice. The ALM takes the adult learner through a learning cycle that involves: self-reflection, planning, action, review, and again, planning, and as such consists of: (1) a predisposing activity, which gives the opportunity for participants to reflect on their current clinical practice; (2) a structured learning activity (SLA) of at least 6 hours, covering both “person approach” to enhance professional competence (behaviour, attitude, skills and knowledge) and “system approach” that focuses on team and procedural processes to safeguard patient safety; and (3) a reinforcing activity that consolidates learning.(From The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. Quality Improvement & Continuing Professional Development Program 2014–2016 Triennium Handbook. 2013, page 32.)
IVA’s process of designing and implementing an ALM
Profiles in Diabetes (PiD) is one of the most-recent ALMs we developed using the blended format. Born from the need for doctors to be diligent in “profiling” each patient, PID was developed to educate and train GPs on how to individualise patient care. This ALM covered several domains of general practice:
- Communication skills and patient–doctor relationship
- Applied professional knowledge and skills
- Population health and the context of general practice
- Professional and ethical role
When first launched in 2013, PID offered two learning streams of delivery to facilitate differing needs of the learners.