Interprofessional Education Course Adapter Toolkit


I was hired as the only web designer/ developer of a team of 4 to create a web toolkit for instructors & facultyin the health science schools

I worked with the IPE Course Adapter Team (Melissa Gross, Debra Mattison, Minal Patel, Gina Shereda) to design and develop an online toolkit for U of M faculty to help them convert existing courses into an IPE offering.

This was a 4-month project, and the web toolkit is now live.

Key Steps

I clarified stakeholder requirements & expectations.

The first challenge of this project is to negotiate and clarify stakeholders' needs and expectations - the Interprofessional Education Program involves 7 health science shools and many other institutions on campus. I found their expectations, needs, and requirements are sometimes not aligned.

I identified the problems that U of M faculty might have when trying to convert their courses.

Before I joined the team, the IPE Course Adapter Team only had a few ideas about what we would have. It was proposed to the University of Michigan IPE center that the toolkit would be a web-based service and would be helpful for faculty interested in converting their courses into IPE opportunities. In our first meetings, I brought up 3 questions related to design to the team: (1) What would be helpful for the faculty and what should we include in the toolkit; (2) How would we evaluate the success of the toolkit; (3) Where should we host the toolkit, in existing websites or we would build a separate one?

I explored the user journey and developed the overall information architecture

My first question led to the discussion of the information architecture we would include for the toolkit. My client shared with me the results from their focus group analysis that faculty at the 7 health science schools were not very clear about:

  • For those who were new to the concept of IPE: the meaning and value of IPE.
  • For those who wished to take further steps: who to contact for more information? What would be a typical process of converting a course? And how to assess an IPE course?

My interviews with the IPE faculty and the IPE Center representatives further proved the importance of those points. Treejack, an information architecture online tool, was meant to test the effectiveness of our information organization. But the test was not conducted due to time constraints.

This is the research I conducted about IPE U of M resource map.

navigation 1

And we had variations of how the web navigation would be.

navigation alternative 1
navigation alternative 2
navigation alternative 3

Visual & UI Design

I created the interface aiming to be effective and aesthetic

We decided to adopt the same template that the UM IPE Center is using, as we anticipate most of our traffic would come from the IPE Center website. Based on the layout of the theme, I created wireframes and hi-fi prototypes using Adobe Illustrator to obtain feedback in our weekly team meetings. I followed the UM Style Guide for the toolkit design, and selected 3 (passion orange, live ivy, and rational blue) colors from its secondary colors to color code the 3 main sections we have. I also tried using gradient, a mixture of UM Maize and Blue, to create the header images for the toolkit subsections. All tools/ checklists in the website are styled in the same manner.

wireframe 1: Form
wireframe 2: Homepage
wireframe 3: IPE Competency
wireframe 4: Process
mockup 1
mockup 2
mockup 3
mockup 4
style guide
header image 1
header image 2
header image 3

The Outcome

We presented the toolkit in an IPE conference, and received a lot of good feedback

To see how the IPE Course Adapter works, please visit the IPE Toolkit Website.

I Learned...

"This project helps me to understand the difference between and - has more flexibility in terms of plugin and theme. Hosting a website on university servers is not easy, but the price and the support of univeristy web hosting finally led us to it. Many institutions are involved in this development, how to balance their requests is also a great challenge for me."

Future Recommendations

  • Always think about a backup plan.
  • You can help your client clarify what they actually want.
  • Be aware of responsiveness will always be a problem.