Building interprofessional learning sustainability: development and evaluation of an interprofessional learning placement resource


  • Gillian Nisbet Work Integrated Learning, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney
  • Jacqueline Raymond Work Integrated Learning, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney
  • Aislinn Batstone Formerly, Project Officer, The University of Sydney
  • Tina Barclay Work Integrated Learning, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney
  • Frances Barraclough The University Centre for Rural Health
  • Inam Haq Sydney Medical School, Faculty of Medicine and Health The University of Sydney
  • Matthew Jennings South Western Sydney Local Health District, NSW
  • Delyse Leadbeatter School of Dentistry, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney
  • Michelle Maw Susan Wakil Sydney Nursing School, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney
  • Madelyn Nicole Work Integrated Learning, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney
  • Lorraine Smith School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney
  • Tina Smith Mental Health Co-ordinating Council, NSW
  • Wendy Stuart-Smith Charles Perkins Centre, Faculty of Science, The University of Sydney


The workplace setting is ideal for health care students on placement to develop interprofessional competencies through relevant, authentic and engaging interprofessional learning (IPL) experiences. Stand-alone structured IPL programs, where the primary focus is on IPL, are often labour intensive, logistically difficult to timetable and challenging to sustain. A practical, scalable and sustainable approach to promoting IPL is to build IPL experiences into each discipline’s regular placements. Thus, IPL becomes part of usual placement practice, rather than being treated separately. This approach capitalizes on currently under-utilized informal IPL opportunities within the workplace. We have used an educational design research methodology to develop and evaluate a stakeholder-informed set of authentic, practical and relevant IPL activities for use by students and their educators when on placement. Through an iterative cyclic process utilizing surveys, focus groups, workshops and interviews with students, placement site educators and academics, we have developed a publicly available interactive website containing the IPL activities. Student learning data are captured via an online form at Importantly, we have extracted a set of design principles that enable others to build on the learnings from this study. Future analytic data collected from our website will enable this approach to IPL to have impact in the longer term.


Article submitted: 3/10/2018

Article accepted: 26/11/2018

Publish date: 17/12/2018

Author Biography

Gillian Nisbet, Work Integrated Learning, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney

Dr Gillian Nisbet

Senior Lecture and Director, Work Integrated Learning,

Faculty of Health Sciences

The University of Sydney


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How to Cite

Nisbet, G., Raymond, J., Batstone, A., Barclay, T., Barraclough, F., Haq, I., Jennings, M., Leadbeatter, D., Maw, M., Nicole, M., Smith, L., Smith, T., & Stuart-Smith, W. (2018). Building interprofessional learning sustainability: development and evaluation of an interprofessional learning placement resource. ealth ducation in ractice: ournal of esearch for rofessional earning, 1(2). etrieved from