2017 IDEAS Recipient

Sabrina Kurtz-Rossi, M.Ed.
Tufts University School of Medicine
Teaching Cultural Competency and Humility in E-learning Environments: Opportunities and Limitations of Asynchronous and Synchronous Dialogue

This study aims to further cultural competency teaching at Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM) by applying a cultural humility framework to promote discussion of topics related to health care equity, implicit bias, and structural racism.  TUSM values diversity and inclusion, and students are calling for more training and deeper dialogue.  Group discussion and dialogue are commonly used strategies for teaching cultural competence and humility.  However, little is known about the benefits and limitations of online discussion tools to promote cultural competence and humility among health professions students. This study will examine dialogue among students in asynchronous and synchronous e-learning environments. The study will take a grounded theory approach to identify types and topics of discussion among students in response to a cultural competency and humility lesson and narrative.  Mixed methods will include qualitative analysis of asynchronous discussion board and live online synchronous discussion transcripts, pre- /post-lesson evaluations, and a follow-up survey. Teaching with technology and cultural competency are TUSM priorities. The results of this study will be used to increase our understanding of the opportunities and limitations of asynchronous and synchronous online discussion tools and help inform future cultural competency and humility teaching at TUSM.