- 10. Promote and Sustain/Expand Value
10. Promote and Sustain/Expand Value
Investment and opportunities do not stop once the LC is up and running.
- 7. Identify and Connect Post-Secondary Education Faculty and Long-Term-Care Teams
7. Identify and Connect Post-Secondary Education Faculty and Long-Term-Care Teams
People are the greatest asset in Living Classrooms, as in many other businesses and collaborations.
- 8. Integrate Curriculum and Long-Term-Care Activities
8. Integrate Curriculum and Long-Term-Care Activities
A curriculum is the heart of any given educational program.
- 9. Define Communication and Coordination Mechanisms
9. Define Communication and Coordination Mechanisms
Open and ongoing communication is encouraged and valued.
- 4. Formalize the Collaboration
4. Formalize the Collaboration
A business relationship focused on collaboration is optimal for our Living Classroom.
- 5. Commit to the Physical Space for the Living Classroom
5. Commit to the Physical Space for the Living Classroom
There are many items that go into making the LC an inviting and interprofessional working
- 6. Create Standard Operating Protocols and Formal Agreements
6. Create Standard Operating Protocols and Formal Agreements
There are many Standard Operating Protocols that have to be considered between both organizations when
a Living Classroom is developed, but only two formal agreements are recommended.
- 1. Agree on the Living Classroom Definition
1. Agree on the Living Classroom Definition
This is an important first step to promote a full and shared understanding of the Living Classroom.
- 2. Determine Operational Viability
2. Determine Operational Viability
Operation viability involves the “make or break” elements that determine if a Living Classroom is possible.
- 3. Identify Win-Win Opportunities and Develop Shared Values
3. Identify Win-Win Opportunities and Develop Shared Values
The Living Classroom offers many opportunities for both a Long-Term Care home and a Post-Secondary Educator.
- Living Classroom
Unlock the potential. Open the door to the living classroom.
Explore the Potential for the Living Classroom: (1) Agree on the LC Definition, (2) Determine Operational Viability, (3) Identify the Win-Win Opportunities and Develop Shared Values
Agree on the Living Classroom Definition
The first building block focuses on developing a clear Living Classroom definition that resonates from the perspective of both the LTC home and the PSE. This is an important first step to promote a full and shared understanding of the idea of the LC. The definition can be refined or adapted later, if needed.
In defining the LC, it is important to realize that the LC is much more than a classroom that is physically located within a LTC home. Our conceptual definition of the LC is one that extends education well beyond the main PSE location, by creating the opportunity for multiple ways to learn and reinforce learning through real-time experiences that also enhance leadership potential among PSW graduates. The LC offers the opportunity for ongoing learning, both for a PSE and a LTC organization. The LC serves as a model for other LTC homes to mobilize a culture of learning and excellence, even when they do not currently have a LC in place.
From development work by the authors and contributors to this guide, our working definition of the Living Classroom is as follows:
The Living Classroom is an interprofessional approach, whereby a post-secondary educator program is delivered within the context of a long-term care home, with team members consisting of faculty, students, long-term care teams, residents and families, who engage with each other within a culture of learning.
The following features deepen this definition:
- The LC situates students within a learning-centred workplace environment where new knowledge and relationships create a deeper understanding, resulting in a culture that promotes dynamic and responsive learning for students and LTC staff alike.
- The LC offers students an opportunity to become more fully prepared to assume careers in LTC settings with the confidence and mindset of engaging in person-centred care and services for older adults and their families. Modelling is the primary teaching strategy, enabling students to integrate theoretical and practical learning within a supportive context that promotes real-life learning.
- In the LTC home, the LC supports interprofessional practices that align with best practices and with what students are learning. It provides LTC team members with opportunities to teach and mentor students, thus enhancing their own knowledge and skills and sustaining their motivation. It provides immediate benefit to residents and their families as well.