As a learning designer I get the chance every year to work with great organizations to build courses on interesting topics. Every topic is worthwhile of course, but sometimes one comes along that also has direct relevance to my own life. This happened last year when I was asked by the BC Centre for Palliative Care to help them redesign a course on Culturally Safe Advance Care Planning. I’d like to tell you about the course but also a little about the topic itself.

If you’re not yet familiar with the term, Advance Care Planning (ACP) is a process of thinking about your future values, beliefs and wishes for future health and personal care, and sharing them with people you trust. As a daughter I can have advance care planning conversations with my parents but as a wife I can also have them with my spouse to prepare for what might happen in our future. The idea is to have conversations about our health wishes now, when we’re all healthy, before something happens and it’s too late to discuss the things that are important to us.

Advance Care Planning Day here in British Columbia was just on April 16 – with a theme of “Life Happens – Be Ready” – so it’s a great time to talk about the course we just redesigned and launched.

The course Culturally Safe Advance Care Planning has three modules:

  • Module 1: Meaningful Conversations in Advance Care Planning
  • Module 2: Culturally Safe Care
  • Module 3: Culturally Safe ACP in Chinese & South Asian Communities in B.C.

Here’s the title page for the first module:

Module 1 title page: meaningful conversations in advance care planningMy team and I built the modules in Articulate Storyline, and they are now placed on a Moodle Learning Management System. (If you’re part of the Provincial Health Services Authority system here in B.C. you can take the course on the PHSA Learning Hub.)

The modules present information about ACP in a visually pleasing way, and are meant to not only be taken once but returned to time and time again as learners want to remind themselves of concepts or download resources.

Here are two example pages with simple interactive elements:

Behaviours for Culturally Safe care

Many module pages include interactive elements such as these but the most in depth interactions in the course are in Module 3, where the learner dives into two different branching scenarios. They “meet” two individuals and their families and make decisions about how to have ACP discussions with them in a culturally safe way.

Here the learner meets Mr. Chan:

And here they make the first decision about how to respond to Mrs. Singh, after meeting her:

Mrs. Singh decision-making point

One of my big goals when creating on demand e-learning is not to create courses where the learner just keeps hitting Next until they get to the end. (How boring and unmotivating!) I often turn to creating scenario-based learning such as what is in this course because it helps us mimic real life situations for the learner, in which they need to make decisions and get consequential feedback on them. Kind of like what happens in real life!

Learners love scenario-based learning. It makes them think and can surprise them and tug on their emotions (in a good way), which helps them engage more with the content and actually learn. It puts them inside a story, not just reading through formally-written content that is often dull and hard to remember.

Designing and developing this ACP-related course was a gift to me in many ways. I learned more about the importance of advance care planning and it makes me feel good that healthcare organizations are making a concerted effort to particularly support individuals and their families by using culturally safe care. And I got to work with some pretty great subject-matter experts!

If you’re curious about Advance Care Planning and want to learn more, visit the campaign page for ACP Day from the BC Centre for Palliative Care. And if you’re curious about what it might look like to design an e-learning course together, drop me a line.

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