Jessica R. Balcom, Marissa S. Ellingson, Carrie A. Bowler, Darcy M. Richardson, Teresa Kruisselbrink, Brittany C. Thomas

Development of a flipped learning course to deliver and scale molecular variant evaluation education: A quality improvement initiative

  • Genetics (clinical)

AbstractOver the past several decades, molecular genetic testing volumes have grown and testing has expanded from single‐gene assays to multigene panels, exome sequencing, and genome sequencing. The number of molecular genetic variants that require manual interpretation has grown simultaneously, resulting in an increased demand for education on molecular variant evaluation (MVE). To meet this growing need, a team of genetic counselors and educational experts undertook a quality improvement (QI) initiative with the objectives of assessing, standardizing, and scaling access to MVE education, without increasing instructor time to deliver the education. Using the Six Sigma define–measure–analyze–improve–control (DMAIC) framework, a flipped learning course with a series of standardized online modules was developed to deliver MVE education in an enduring and accessible format for a diverse group of learners. Outcome measures included the number of online modules developed, the number of individual learners and unique learner groups accessing MVE education, and direct instruction time required to deliver MVE education. Countermeasures to ensure maintenance of educational quality included post‐course learner satisfaction scores and performance on competency assessments. Both the total number of learners and the number of unique learner groups accessing MVE education increased, while instructor time required to deliver content per learner decreased. Learner satisfaction scores remained constant and performance on competency assessments improved. The QI initiative successfully scaled MVE education to a diverse group of learners without decreasing learner outcomes or satisfaction. The flipped learning format provides a scalable and flexible educational model for instructors and learners in a rapidly changing environment that often includes remote work and education.

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